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This Perfect World Paperback – Unabridged, 7 Jan 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (7 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033051069X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330510691
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

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

Book Description

What do you do when your secret past threatens your perfect present?

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By Lincs Reader TOP 500 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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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Laura Hamley lives in her perfect, Stepford-wives type world with the perfect exterior: successful husband, beautiful children, all the possessions she could want and equally fortunate friends. Her main worries are which cakes to bake and making costumes for her children's events at school.

But all this changes when Laura receives a phonecall from Mrs Partridge, the mother of Heddy, who she bullied at school. Mrs Partridge askes for Laura's help and reluctantly she agrees to help Heddy. As Laura begins to delve into her past with flashbacks to her childhood, her own perfect world begins to crack.

I found "This Perfect World" a quick read and easy to follow through the flashbacks. However I wouldn't say that I liked the book as although the characters were well crafted, I found myself disliking all of them. Laura changes a lot throughout the book as she helps Heddy but I still don't think she would have helped her if she could have got out of the situation. Laura's parents are even more cruel. I also couldn't relate to Heddy who didn't seem to want to help herself for the sake of her own son.

However I found the ending improved the book and made me understand just why all the characters behaved as they did.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As I read the first page of this book my first thought was that I was not going to enjoy it. This is because the main character, Laura, seems so utterly unpleasant. As she recounts tales of bullying an unfortunate classmate called Heddy during their school years she comes across as such an unsympathetic character. In the first part of the book she paints a picture of her perfect, but superficial, middle-class life and it is very hard to warm to her. When Heddy comes back into her life she is forced to confront her past and this leads her to question her marriage and her lifestyle.

There are two things that I really loved about this book. Firstly, the school bullying episodes are very realistic as are the scenes between Laura and the other mums in their middle-class clique. Secondly, I loved the journey you go on when you read this book. As the story progresses I felt that I really started to understand Laura and Heddy and I felt great compassion for them both. This book is literally a page-turner in that I was desperate to find out what was the event that linked Laura and Heddy together and I really cared about what would happen to them both.
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