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Emma Lewis is the perfect daughter; bright, pretty, and she also has a big heart. The Princeton sophomore moves to Spain for a semester abroad and halfway through makes the call home that is every parent’s nightmare; a young man from a prominent Spanish family has been stabbed to death in her apartment, and Emma is the prime suspect.

She concocts a tale in a pathetic attempt to protect her drug dealer boyfriend, and her mother flies in to stand by her daughter, refusing to doubt a word of it. Her father, an attorney, knows she is lying but wants to protect her, and he hires a private detective and attorney to help clear her name.

The story becomes a media frenzy, the stress is playing havoc on her parent’s marriage, and slowly the truth begins to emerge and her mother has to face the fact that Emma is not the same girl who left home. The changing relationships in this devastated family ring true, especially as the mystery is slowly revealed.

If you were glued to Nancy Grace during the Amanda Knox trials, the obvious inspiration for this story, this is the book for you.

Copyright ©2014 Booklist, a division of the American Library Association.

12/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE PERFECT MOTHER by Nina Darnton. Plume (November 25, 2014). ISBN 978-0142196731. 240p.

2 Responses to THE PERFECT MOTHER by Nina Darnton

  1. Laurie C says:

    This sounded so familiar as I was reading your review, then I realized I was thinking of Cartwheel by Jennifer DuBois, which was loosely based on the Amanda Knox story, too.

    • Stacy Alesi says:

      The Amanda Knox story was so compelling, I’m not surprised more than one writer found their way to their own version of it. If you enjoyed Cartwheel, then you’ll probably enjoy The Perfect Mother too. Thanks for writing!

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