Meet the Adler family of Portland Oregon. Thomas is a successful (fairly) real estate agent who often uses wife Vivian (Viv) to stage his listings. Son Eli is a soccer athlete enrolled in his first year of college and is home for the holidays. Daughter Tarryn is a junior in high school who has a unique personality but is consumed with self confidence. They live in a nice, upscale neighborhood in a lovely home with a well maintained property. That’s what they look like from the outside. Come inside their home and each member of this family is keeping big secrets, all threatening to be exposed when inexplicably pranks and vandalism are unleashed on their property. The police are useless, even when the acts escalate.
Even though the Adlers may seem like one big mess, I always felt like they’re probably typical of a lot of families trying to hold up to a facade they’ve created to conform within these neighborhoods. I tried to weigh which of the Adlers had the worst secret but they were all weighty for different reasons. What I found more frustrating was the lack of assistance they received from law enforcement who were ready to dash the property assaults as harmless pranks by bored teens. Maybe one or two but this family was targeted for weeks. It was hard for me to keep my cool as I felt like I was readying myself for the inevitable train collision.
This was a fascinating story that unfortunately felt realistic, not so much the gravity of their secrets but the pretenses they presented outwardly and to each other. It was a combustible set of circumstances that was destined to implode or explode. I chose to listen to this story and was thrilled that there were multiple narrators used to present each family member’s point of view. All delivered great performances as they helped me visualize the characters consistent with how they appeared to be crafted. I also liked the well timed POV transitions. It enhanced the storytelling. I liked the ending, didn’t love it, but was satisfied nonetheless, despite that last line. I think I “get” it, or at least I choose to. This author has yet to let me down.
- Release Date: August 10, 2021
- Narrators: Ali Andre Ali, Cassandra Campbell, Michael Crouch, Amanda Dolan & Pete Simonelli
- Audio Length: 8 hours, 21 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)