Michelle Sacks's debut novel, You Were Made for This, follows a seemingly perfect couple down a dark rabbit hole of sexual obsession and domestic isolation. When Sam inherits a picturesque cottage in Sweden, it seems to be the perfect opportunity for him, his wife, Merry, and their newborn, Conor, to make a fresh start. But beneath their beautiful and tranquil existence, they both hide dark secrets from their past, and Merry's domestic exterior is cracking under the pressure of their marriage and motherhood. Frank, Merry's seductive, charismatic childhood friend, comes to visit, and all of their lives unravel in the face of past horrors and new tragedies.
As in her short story collection, Stone Baby, Sacks proves herself to be an expert of both language and atmosphere. By turns mesmerizing and horrifying, You Were Made for This confronts the dark truths behind motherhood, marriage and female friendship with disquieting lyricism. Her intricately woven perspectives and carefully drawn fairytale setting create a world that soon feels more convincing, albeit more disturbing, than our own. The voices of her consistently rotten but unmistakably human characters seduce the reader into a nightmarish dreamscape that is terrifying and thought-provoking for its uncanny familiarity.
You Were Made for This plumbs the thematic depths of the popular domestic thriller genre, showing a literary self-awareness while still spinning an intoxicating narrative. With her captivating characters and mesmerizing style, Sacks forces us to stare at what lurks beneath a modern, cool exterior, and touch the mold that grows in the corners of an idyllic cottage in the woods. --Alice Martin, freelance writer and editor