Her Pretty Face
By: Robyn Harding
Publication Date: 7/10/2018
My Rating: 5 Stars +
Top Books of 2018 The author of the bestselling novel The Party—lauded as “tense and riveting” by New York Times bestselling author Megan Miranda—returns with a chilling new domestic drama about two women whose deep friendship is threatened by dark, long-buried secrets. Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.
A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before. Until she meets Kate Randolph.
Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart…because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunik. And she’s a murderer.
In her masterful follow-up to The Party, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past?
Bestselling author Robyn Harding returns following The Party with her latest movie-worthy thriller —HER PRETTY FACE —A spine-chilling and riveting domestic suspense of two different mothers, both with dark hidden secrets. My Top Books of 2018. LOVED IT!
Everyone is hiding something. Nothing is as it appears.
Many questions will surface while reading.
How someone with no conscience, no moral compass, can be a friend, a wife, and a mother. From sociopath to suburban mom. Do you really know your friends— The parents of your children’s friends from school?
For fans of true-crime. Real women and moms like Caylee Marie Anthony and Karla Homolka. Should murderers be allowed to be a part of society? Can they be a friend? After serving their time, do they change?
In Seattle, Washington suburb —Frances Metcalfe is a stay-at-home, overweight mom married with an 11-year-old son, Marcus. They finally have him in an upscale school, Forrester Academy. Marcus peed in a mean girl’s water bottle (after being bullied), and now Frances is shunned by the other moms and Marcus has no friends. He is a little different than most with ADHD.
When the beautiful Kate Randolph, befriends Frances, she is over the moon! This woman has invited her out for coffee and genuinely likes her. In addition, because she is now friends with her— she has some credibility with the other moms. Her dream come true.
And icing on the cake Kate’s son is now Marcus best friend. Frances is overjoyed at this newfound social status and friendship. Plus the couples even meet and socialize with dinner parties.
However, both women are hiding secrets. Both women have a past. Is being young, naïve, and easily influenced, a viable excuse? The question is: Which sin is the worst?
One mother is a murderer, disguising herself under a new name, a new family. Her real name is Amber Kunik.
Bound by dark secrets, how will the truth be revealed? Lies, deception, and betrayal. When the truth is revealed, it will destroy not only the two women’s friendships but their children’s as well.
Told from different POVs —Then and now. Daisy (Kate’s daughter), DJ (we do not know his identity until later. His sister is missing), and Frances. At the opening of the book, we learn about a crime in Arizona. A missing girl, Courtney Carey.
Can sociopaths be capable of love? Can they forgive themselves?
WOW! This is one unputdownable thriller. From the first page to the ending, Harding grabs you and never let’s go. As a reader, you are dying to know how all the pieces of the puzzle will fit together. How do they connect?
The author masterfully sets the stage with just the right timing and unveiling with superb character development. A haunting tale of friendship and loyalty, secrets, and betrayal. When you finish you will begin to doubt everyone in your life!
This was my first book by talented Robyn Harding and a few chapters into the book, immediately purchased the audiobook The Party. I am a huge fan of the audio narrator, Cassandra Campbell (currently listening). BTW, I really enjoyed the book HER PRETTY FACE; however, highly recommend the audiobook as well (AMAZING) also narrated by Cassandra Campbell with Rebekkah Ross, and Kirby Heyborne.
The novel proposes many questions and an ideal choice for Book Clubs. Reading Guide link below.
Can these women and mothers be trusted as a friend and fit to be around children? How many times can they change their names or hide? What if you did not know until a friendship was formed? Can you get inside the head of a sociopath? Do they change? Should you forgive?
Interview with the Author (below link)
These true-killers are inspiring writers today to take a closer inside look at what if? A woman with a past is placed in an everyday situation in suburbia —blending the truth with fiction. A reimagining. (loving them).
For fans of Paula Treick DeBoard’s The Drowning Girls, Jennifer Hillier’s Jar of Hearts (Karla Homolka), Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Trust Me (Caylee Anthony), Charlie Donlea’s Don’t Believe It, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies (TV).
On a side note which makes this novel even more chilling:
You may see a close relation to a group of Montreal parents outraged after learning one of Canada’s most notorious killers had been volunteering at their children’s school. Karla Homolka served 12 years in prison after taking part in the rapes and murders of two schoolgirls with her then-husband, Paul Bernardo (convicted serial killer). If you followed the news this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Crown’s “deal with the devil” and the beginning of a trial that stunned Canadians. Watch the documentary video
Robyn Harding (Author), Rebekkah Ross (Narrator), Cassandra Campbell (Narrator), Kirby Heyborne (Narrator), Simon & Schuster Audio (Publisher)
”This one might be the thriller of the summer.”
—The Toronto Star
“a diverting domestic suspense novel [with] three-dimensional characters, well-timed plot twists, and a sea of convincing red herrings…” —Publishers Weekly
“Harding expertly builds subtle menace... creepy and compelling”
“The tony setting and the slowly revealed secrets make this a good read-alike for Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.” —Booklist
"A spine-chilling domestic suspense about two mothers." —Bustle
"Robyn Harding knows exactly what she’s doing, and she did NOT come to play."
Robyn Harding has once again proven herself to be a master of domestic suspense, weaving a complex tale of friendship, parenthood, and long-hidden secrets that forces us to consider whether we can ever truly leave our pasts behind. In the compulsively readable HER PRETTY FACE, everyone is hiding something, and the only question is whether anyone will survive unscathed as the action reaches its dramatic conclusion." —Kathleen Barber, author of ARE YOU SLEEPING)
“Robyn Harding’s Her Pretty Face is a fierce and blazing one-sitting read that will make you question even your closest friendships. With prose elegantly woven between sinister, humorous, brutally honest, and downright horrifying, Harding crafts an all-too-believable narrative that preys upon every parent’s greatest vulnerability: their children. Her Pretty Face will undoubtedly spike paranoia levels in school car lines everywhere.” –Carter Wilson, USA Today bestselling author of Mister Tender’s Girl and The Comfort of Black
Q & A With the Author
Your Next Book Club Pick. Reading Guide.
About the Author
Robyn Harding is the author of several books, including The Party and Her Pretty Face, and has written and executive produced an independent film.
She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and two children. Read More