Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Date of publication: June 25th, 2019
Genre: Women’s Fiction
An unpredictable and entertaining tale of secrets, desires, and forgiveness spanning four generations of an American family.
In WASPy Larkspur, New Jersey, social expectations and decorum rule, and Marjorie and Dunsfield Thornden are the envy of their neighbors. Their daughters Claire and Cat set the small town’s social calendar by throwing tastefully lavish family parties year round. Because it’s 1977, underage debauchery is to be expected—and Cat and Claire’s children, Bizzy and Choo, are at its very center.
Underneath their well-maintained veneer, the Thorndens are quite dysfunctional, but have always had their entitlement to fall back on. And while some are finally ready to accept what they’re willing to give up for the life that they think they deserve, secrets that should’ve never been kept—especially not from each other—are bubbling unattractively to the surface.
So when a scandal threatens to unravel this tight-lipped family and their secrets, the Thorndens will have to decide how much they’ll let decorum rule social mores dictate their decisions and how far they’ll go to keep some secrets just that. Any choice they make could mean freedom from expectations but will change the course of their family’s legacy forever.
"Don't you just love the smell of diaper cream?"
I wasn’t sure about what I was getting into when I started reading Twisted Family Values. I thought this book was going to be something like V.C. Andrews novels. I was wrong. Twisted Family Values was nothing like those books. Instead, this book was something different. I am still trying to figure out if it is a good different or a bad different.
Twisted Family Values plotlines were sometimes hard to follow. I had a hard time following the main plotline. The number of sub-plotlines in each “chapter” would overwhelm me. I had to reread specific chapters to make sure I understood what was going on.
I did like how the book was split up. Each “chapter” was a different time in Biz and Charlie’s life. There was childhood (up to 13), college age, mid 20’s, late 30’s, and late 40’s. It was interesting to see Biz, Charlie, and their family evolve and devolve through the years.
The book discloses early on that Charlie was not blood-related to Cat and her ex-husband. I didn’t understand why Cat kept that information secret for almost 50 years. Her withholding Charlie’s parentage caused so much harm. I wanted to throttle her at points during the book because of that.
I felt terrible for Biz and Charlie. Because Cat didn’t disclose that they weren’t related, they had to force to hide their feelings for each other. Which resulted in Biz becoming an alcoholic and Charlie being married to a woman he didn’t love. It was painful and disturbing to read.
I did like that the author chose to show that good could come out of being bad. The last chapter of Twisted Family Values highlights this perfectly.
I do want to add that I loved Ruby. Her reactions to catching Biz and Finn having sex was hilarious. Also hilarious, was her reaction to Charlie possibly being her father.
The end of the book was nice, but it was too happy. Twisted Family Values was not a happy book, per se. I was surprised to see HEA’s handed out left and right.
I would give Twisted Family Values an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Twisted Family Values I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**