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Nuclear Family cover art

Nuclear Family

By: Kate Davies
Narrated by: Olivia Darnley
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Summary

From the Polari Prize-winning author of IN AT THE DEEP END

When Lena buys DNA testing kits for her father Tom and her twin sister Alison, she thinks they’ll enjoy finding out where their ancestors come from, and what percentage Neanderthal they are. She has no idea the gift will blow her family apart.

Tom is forced to admit that he isn’t his daughters’ biological father: he and his late wife, Sheila, used a sperm donor. He's terrified Lena and Alison will reject him, and desperate to win back their trust – whatever it takes.

Alison thinks DNA doesn’t matter. She and her wife are trying to start a family using donor sperm, too. To her, Tom is their dad, and that’s that.

But Lena becomes obsessed with tracking down their biological father. And when she discovers she has a half-brother – an actor with a blue tick on Instagram – she becomes obsessed with him, too…

From the author of the Polari Prize-winning In at the Deep End, this is a very funny and deeply moving novel about identity, donor conception and what it means to be a family.

©2024 Kate Davies (P)2024 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

‘Confront[s] sensitive subjects with wit and tenderness…an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of family.’ The Bookseller, BOOK OF THE MONTH

'I can’t think of another author who can make me ricochet so quickly from painful empathy to helpless laughter' ERIN KELLY

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Brilliant

Loved this book about sisterhood and daughthood and what it is to be a family. Kate Davies is a brilliant author.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Engaging from start to finish

Do not be put off by the book due to its slow playing speed. I had to increase it to 1.10.
I very much look forward to the 3rd novel by Kate, I really enjoy the topics she explores and think she is a fantastic writer.

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The narration

Hilarious & narration was perfect; great subject matter and cultural references were spot on and incisive particularly of you’re Londoncentric

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I don't usually leave reviews, but...

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio version of Nuclear Family!
This was a very different read to Kate Davis first novel, In at The Deep End, but equally as eye opening -in different way.
I honestly didn't want it to finish and despite a very satisfying ending, I would love to continue following these characters on their journeys - they were all incredibly believable!
Kate is a brilliant author, with an astute eye for the nuances of life. Her writing is witty, warm and leaves you wanting more. She handled difficult moments with care and realism, (which I appreciated having personally been affected by one topic in particular). I'll admit there were tears but cleverly balanced with humour, so it wasn't long before I was snort laughing. Sometimes just hearing the chapter headings was enough to have me chuckling -brilliant!
It is a real gem and I'm excited to see more from this wonderful author!

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Good story, terrible character

I did enjoy the story very much, and the narration was overall great. However, the main character Lena was the most detestable character. She was absolutely awful, there was nothing redeeming about her. I’m not sure if she was supposed to be ‘complicated’ but I hated her so much. Homophobic, spoiled, immature, selfish, embarrassing. And it was made worse by the narrator reading her dialogue in a shrill, high pitched Mickey Mouse shriek.

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