“I wished I lived in a world where I didn’t know violence intimately, but I’d seen more than my fair share, given the work I did.”
Published in 2019, The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry follows happily married Christopher and Hannah who have picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.
But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature. As Janie’s behaviour threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.