Originally published: July 2021
Author: Bella Mackie
Narrator: Charly Clive & Paul Panting
Published by: Borough Press
Length: 368 pages / 10 hours, 49 minutes
Reading dates: 3-12 May 2023
They say you can’t choose your family. But you can kill them.
Meet Grace Bernard.
Daughter, sister, serial killer….
Grace has lost everything.
And she will stop at nothing to get revenge.
Continuing my series of “reviews of books everyone else read ages ago but I’m only getting to now“, I listened to How to Kill Your Family on audio book via the Libby app.
Grace is a killer – she admits this at the beginning of the book where she is in prison for a crime she didn’t commit which is ironic considering there are 6 murders she could be in jail for. While in jail, she decides to record what she has done as a sort of diary and it is this recollection that we treated to.
Grace was born to a beautiful French mother Marie and they lived in poverty before her mother died young. She found out from a young age that her father was Simon Artemis, a very rich man who wants nothing to do with them. Grace decides she wants revenge on Simon for the way her has treated her and her mother and as soon as she is old enough, she starts to take out members of Simon’s family in some very inventive ways, making their deaths look like accidents.
I loved Grace’s voice – she narrates intelligently with dry humour and sarcasm and while I don’t necessarily approve of what she was doing, I did admire her commitment to the cause, the amount of research and time she put into each death was impressive. Some of his family are horrid and I had little sympathy for them but not all of them are cut from the same cloth as her father. I did like Grace as a narrator but she isn’t a nice person – I can’t think of a single redeeming thing she does in this book!
Some reviewers didn’t like the ending and I wasn’t sure but thinking about it now, a few days after finishing I did quite like it. A dark and gripping debut from Bella Mackie, I really enjoyed How to Kill Your Family!
About the author:
I am a former journalist who previously worked for The Guardian and Vice News. I write a twice monthly Vogue Column. My first book, Jog On, was a memoir about mental health and running. It was a number two best seller (just underneath Michelle Obama, which is a hallowed spot). Since then I’ve written an accompanying journal to encourage others to try exercise more for their minds than their bodies.
My first foray into fiction was with my book “How To Kill Your Family,” which came out in July 2021 and also ended up in the number two bestseller spot. I’m currently writing a new novel which will hopefully be out in 2023.
I live in London and spend a lot of time wrangling my large stupid dog. If the book isn’t out in 2023 then he will be why.
Great review Clair – I loved this book x
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Thank you Claire!
Fab review! I’m definitely intrigued.
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