Release Date: Feb 4, 2020
Imprint: William Morrow
Beth Leeson and Flora Braid were best friends for more than ten years. Then something happened between the two women and their friendship ended. Twelve years later, Beth decides to drive by Flora’s new house in a nearby town. Beth sees Flora, but is shocked and confused by something else she observes. The two older Braid children should be teenagers by now, but somehow they are still toddlers and are even wearing outfits they wore years before. Fortunately, Beth’s family doesn’t think she’s crazy, but when she can’t find any quick answers, her husband thinks she needs to let it go. However, the more Beth learns about the situation, the more determined she is to find a logical explanation for the impossible thing she saw.
I have read several of Sophie Hannah’s books, but this one is my favorite and is also the most unusual. The unique premise of Beth seeing children that look like they haven’t aged in twelve years caught my attention, and the great storytelling kept my interest throughout the entire book. I wasn’t sure what direction this story would take, but I couldn’t put the book down. As Beth gets closer to the answers, the suspense heats up and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what would happen next. Beth is a very likable main character. She won’t let her investigation go, even when her husband begins to lose patience, but she continues out of concern for her old friend.
Unrelated to her search for the truth about Flora’s children, there is a wonderful scene with Beth going to bat for her teenage daughter when an incident occurs at school. Likewise, Zannah helps her mom get information that helps get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding Flora. Even though Zannah often has a smart mouth typical of a teenager, she is there to support her mom in the toughest situations. Zannah is wise beyond her years and is my favorite character in the book. Together, she and Beth make a formidable team.
As Beth uncovers more and more information about Flora, her husband Lewis, and their children, my theories about the true explanation kept changing. There are several twists to the story and when everything is revealed, it is not what I had anticipated. A character comments that Beth’s theories are creepy and abnormal, but still believable. Likewise, the author is able to tell a story that is sometimes far-fetched in such a way that it seems possible. I was engaged from the beginning and enjoyed the unexpected ending. Readers looking for a psychological thriller that is creative and unique will enjoy Perfect Little Children.