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This Perfect World Paperback – 16 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (16 Jan. 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 144727153X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447271536
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Suzanne Bugler's much acclaimed debut novel is a deliciously dark story of how a woman's seemingly perfect world is slowly torn apart by events in the past...An impressive first novel.' --Lancashire Evening Post Series Pam Norfolk

'This story packs an emotional wallop with insightful things to say about family values, the shallowness of social success and the torment of failure.' --Peterborough Evening Telegraph Alex Gordon --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Suzanne Bugler lives in south west London with her husband and two sons. She is the author of This Perfect World and has also written two novels for young adults: Staring Up at the Sun and Meet Me at the Boathouse.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This Perfect World is a spellbinding read, that draws the reader in from page one. Well written and a fairly quick read but also at times, a very difficult read.

Narrated by Laura, a woman who lives the seemingly perfect life - with the perfect children, husband, house and circle of friends. Her friends are women who are all married to rich men, women who spend their time talking hair, shoes, lunch and judging each other by what they have or do not have. A totally superficial life based on wealth, appearance and greed.

Laura gets a blast from the past when she receives a call from Mrs Partridge. Laura bullied the woman's daughter - Heddy. Bullied her so badly that it is clear that Heddy's life has been formed by her childhood experiences. Heddy is in a psychiatric ward and her Mother wants Laura's help to get her home.

As Laura reflects on her past and the awful things that she did to Heddy, it's clear that underneath the glam exterior she too is a scarred and somewhat damaged woman.

This is a fast flowing read but one that really makes the reader consider the consequences of our actions. How many of us went through our child and teenage years without saying or doing something nasty to another child? How many of us were the victims of bullies?

Psychologically tense with characters that jumped from the pages - I will certainly look out for more work by Suzanne Bugler
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Story Seeker on 5 April 2010
Format: Hardcover
When I read the opening chapter to Suzanne Bulger's "A Perfect World" I wasn't sure I could get into it as the narrator and her friends seemed so unsympathetic - snobby, judgmental, middle class mothers leading very superficial lives and the narrator quite openly condemning the mother of the (now grown up) child she relentlessly bullied at school and her mother who is now calling on her for help...but a few chapters in and I was absolutely hooked. It is very rare that I cannot put a book down but this one became utterly compelling - especially as the writer seemed to gain her confidence as the book went on and the nuances beneath the otherwise quite straight-forward plot became more complex and ambiguous. Reflecting now on my initial querying of how the author was going to reel me into the book when her narrator's thoughts and worlds were so alien and repellant to me is interesting...because in fact as the book develops I found myself seeing things from her point of view remarkably easily and identifying sympathetically....which is exactly what I thought, at the start, Bulger would attempt to do but thought unlikely she could carry off. How wrong I was. She truly does carry it off and so subtly you hardly realize you being reeled in, which is a real sign of her mastery of her craft. I was very impressed with the subtleties of this novel. It is written with lovely economical but evocative language and is very direct, real and honest.Read more ›
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By L. H. Healy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really enjoyed this novel. It's well written and a fairly quick and engrossing read, though not an easy one at times. I hadn't heard much about it or the author so came into it with no preconceptions, other than the jacket recommendations that it is in a similar vein to Nicci French, Barbara Vine and Sophie Hannah. I've read a few Nicci French and also Sophie Hannah and liked both so on that basis I was looking forward to the book.

The novel is written in the first person, and we really get inside the mind of the main character Laura Hamley. Ostensibly Laura is living the 'perfect' middle class life, two lovely children, good husband, lovely village, and super friends.

But this novel is all about peeling back the layers of the present and of the past, and seeing what's under the surface. Back in her schooldays, Laura bullied another girl, Helen 'Heddy' Partridge, and generally made her life a bit of a misery at every opportunity. This was in spite of the fact that for some reason, Laura's parents tended to push her and Heddy together, despite Laura's protests. The novel begins with Heddy's mother contacting Laura out of the blue to discuss Heddy's current unhappy state, and ask for her help. And so begins the painful and revealing trip back to the memories of those childhood days for Laura, and the confrontation with Heddy in the present day. Through these events, Laura comes to re-evaluate her current life and so-called friends, and begins to see it all for what it is, or rather what it is not.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Charnock on 13 May 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
In the 1970s we all laughed at Johnny Speight's creation Alf Garnett, a characterture of Speight's own father: loud, outspoken and stupid. Suzanne Bugler has done something similar, in that she has created Laura, a charactuerture of a middle classed woman, obsessed with status and "looking good". Rather than using wit, Bugler uses surprise and a real sense of pain as she guides us through Laura's Road to Damascus moment. This is unexpected (to both her and us) and with consequences which at times she cannot cope with.

This is a well written and insightful novel, full of detail and observation. Unafraid of tackling issues around mental ill-health, it knocks (at time you could say kicks) at the wall many people use as a barrier from the real world. Laura's tale is disturbing not because of the detail that Bugler gives us about her, but rather in the mirror like quality of ourselves. You will see yourself somewhere in this book, like it or not we are all there. We may not have followed the same path or be now in the same place, but you will recognise glimpses here and there. In this sense, Bugler has written an insightfull and accurate novel for the 21st century; however, whilst the Laura character answers many questions and reveals many home truths in the end, other charcters fare less well. The tale centres on Laura, so maybe this is how it should be, but I still felt that there was another dimension which was left out. Speights genius was in his development of other characters and their interaction on the father figure, Bulger does not quite do this, which is a shame.
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