The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood


Vanessa has always found it easy to pretend to be somebody different, somebody better. When things get tough in her real life, all she has to do is throw on some nicer clothes, adopt a new accent and she can escape.

That’s how it started: looking round houses she couldn’t possibly afford. Harmless fun really. Until it wasn’t.

Because a man who lived in one of those houses is dead.

And everyone thinks Vanessa killed him…

My thoughts on The Perfect Life…

Like Vanessa, I love looking at houses online, imagining where I’d like to live if I won the lottery and money was no object. Unlike Vanessa, I don’t book myself in for a viewing. I can see why she does though. Pretending to be someone else, even if just for a little while, is very tempting. Especially when your world is falling apart, which Vanessa’s definitely is.

I found myself as fascinated by Vanessa as she was by the houses she obsesses over. As The Perfect Life bounced back and forward from the ‘now’ to the ‘then’, I wanted to understand just how and why things had fallen so badly apart for her. As least, I wanted to at first.

I really enjoyed the first two thirds of The Perfect Life. I liked how the ground kept shifting and the story kept moving in directions I didn’t expect. I liked Vanessa, and disliked her boyfriend. I wanted the best for her. Then, there was a twist I didn’t see coming, and just didn’t work for me. There was one too many villains and an outcome that felt forced. I went from not being able to put the book down to having to force myself to pick it up and finish it.

I’d be interested to know if others who’ve read it felt the same way, or if it was just me? I don’t know if I’m being too picky? I do know that this was a good but not great read for me, one I’m not sure I will be recommending to others – sorry 😦

Emma x

Please note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings, and opinions are my own.

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