‘A Nearly Normal Family’ Is a Gripping Thriller That Lures You in From the First Episode

*Adds to streaming queue*

a nearly normal family review netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

*Warning: Minor spoilers ahead*

If you’re looking for an edge-of-your-seat thriller that tugs at your heartstrings, you’ve come to the right place. 

All six episodes of A Nearly Normal Family are now streaming on Netflix. The Swedish series just premiered on the streaming service on November 24, and it’s already gaining popularity for its binge-worthiness. 

Keep scrolling for an honest review of A Nearly Normal Family.

What Is A Nearly Normal Family About?

The story is based on the best-selling book by M. T. Edvardsson (translated to English by Rachel Willson-Broyles). The show opens on a scene that might be triggering for some viewers, since it depicts a sexual assault. But if you can get past the first five minutes, you’ll be enthralled by the storytelling. 

The rest of the first episode takes place four years after the assault, and it’s told from three different perspectives: the daughter, the father and the mother.

It begins with a glimpse of the daughter, Stella (Alexandra Karlsson Tyrefors), who is celebrating her 19th birthday. She meets a handsome man, Christoffer Olsen (Christian Fandango Sundgren), and they embark on a wild adventure. When Stella returns home in the wee hours of the morning, she starts acting suspicious.

Her father, Adam (Björn Bengtsson), notices that Stella is hiding something. However, she’s not the only one. He also knows that his wife, Ulrika (Lo Kauppi), is lying to him about her whereabouts. (We later learn that she’s having an affair with a colleague.) 

It’s clear their family dynamic is strained. This only intensifies when Ulrika learns that Stella has been arrested for the murder of Christoffer. Dun dun dunnn.

a nearly normal family review netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

PureWow Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars

A Nearly Normal Family is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat tale that will have you itching to watch more. Although the show switches perspectives, it focuses on the same timelines. So, when Stella is at the club, her dad’s viewpoint shows what happened at home during that time. All the perspectives overlap to create one big storyline with zero gray areas, and it’s highly satisfying. 

Parents can also relate to the turmoil that Adam and Ulrika experience when their seemingly innocent daughter is accused of a heinous crime. It begs the question: How far would you go to protect your children?

a nearly normal family review netflix cast
Courtesy of Netflix

Will There be a Season Two of A Nearly Normal Family?

A Nearly Normal Family is classified as a “mini series,” which is used interchangeably with “limited series.” As a result, we don’t expect Netflix to renew the show for another season, since limited series are usually one-and-done. 

Of course, there’s a small chance for another season if it’s popular enough. It rarely happens, but it wouldn’t be the first time that a limited series got a surprise renewal. (Looking at you, Big Little Lies.)

a nearly normal family netflix
Nikolaj Thaning Rentzmann/Netflix

How Does the Series Differ from the Book?

Actually, they’re both very similar. The book is very heavy in terms of content—it’s one of those can’t-put-down stories versus a slow burn. The show gives off a similar vibe, teasing just enough information to lure viewers into watching another episode. Not only are the show’s character names the same as the book’s, but it also switches between POVs, just like Edvardsson’s novel.

One of the biggest differences is the show’s opening scene. The book begins on Stella’s eighteenth birthday, and it’s told from the dad’s perspective. But the Netflix series introduces Stella at age 15 before it jumps ahead to her 19th birthday. You know, minor differences that were likely added for dramatization. 

Despite the changes, devoted fans of the source material will appreciate the similarities between the book and the show. 

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...