The tragic mystery at the heart of their family has finally surfaced . . . When Ellen Wakefield O’Connor is confronted by a young man armed with a birth certificate that mistakenly names her as his mother, she quickly sorts out the truth: his birth mother listed Ellen on the certificate to cover up her own identity, but also because Ellen is, in a way, related to the child. The birth father is Ellen’s troubled husband, Tom. The secrets of the past soon engulf Ellen, Tom, and everyone they love.
***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed reading this book. The main thread, the search of a birth mother, a cause of death and the truth, was revealed in surprising twists and turns, and with some amusing diversions. I worked out the cause of death quite early on, and was surprised when no-one picked up on the massive death scene clue (not even the author, apparently). I took longer in working out the birth mother, but that was due to information availablility.
To contrast with the main story threads, there were lighter moments. I have to say I found the relationship between Laura and Jackson to be more Mills and Boon than anything else, but that was ok. It was all surface and little substance. They were pleasant characters. Mother was something of a cipher, who never had the chance to speak to us herself in this book.
Alicia Rasley’s use of changing narrator and technique of overlapping their telling of parts of the story whilst moving the plot on was enjoyable. Alicia’s use of classical family dynamics theory underpins many of the interactions and character traits in the story.
There were a few inconsistencies and, as I read it on a kindle, flicking back to check details like dates I found inconvenient (hhmmmm…guess I should look at the search facility!) and there were a couple of baggy bits in the plot. I forgave the baggy bits as Alicia’s exploration of the effects of uncovering old lies on the various members of the family was interesting.
A little more on how those effects manifested themselves in how the characters saw themselves after the revelations would have been interesting.
All in all a very enjoyable read and a book I would recommend.
I’m claiming this book as No. 1/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and No. 8 in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading challenge.
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