ARC Review – Twisted Family Values by V.C. Chickering





Published: June 25th 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre(s): Humor, Fiction
Format: Paperback, 352 pages


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.




Unique, and Quite interesting, but I felt Unmoved and Indifferent


Twisted Family Values by V.C. Chickering was a very interesting read for me. I don’t entirely dislike the novel, but overall….it just wasn’t a thoroughly enjoyable story for me. Actually, I felt quite uneasy and uncomfortable at times.

The story follows the dysfunctional lives of the Thorndens which to me seem absurdly crazy and whacky. It just felt too weird and too unsettling for me. I really had a difficult time with the narrative and I had to put it down a few times. The writing is good and the plot is well-developed, but I just wasn’t into it and honestly didn’t care about the characters enough to feel any emotions. In the end, I felt that the book as a whole isn’t enjoyable enough for me.

With humor, secrets, scandals, and unexpected surprises, Twisted Family Values is unique, unpredictable and quite interesting, but the story and characters just felt too twisted for me. It was an interesting read and I’m sure there are other readers who’ll enjoy this book, but I personally felt unmoved and indifferent. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



V.C. CHICKERING has written for Comedy Central, MTV, Lifetime, TLC, Discovery, NickMom and Oxygen television networks as well as for BUST, Cosmo, and The Washington Post magazines. She’s written screenplays; has a local newspaper column entitled, Pith Monger; and a blog. She lives in New Jersey with her family where she also writes and performs witty, original songs for the alt-bluegrass/indi-jazz band, Tori Erstwhile & The Montys. She is the author of Nookietown and Twisted Family Values.




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