Top positive review
The Secret Mother
Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2017
Oh, this book was brilliant from start to finish. It grabbed me right from page one, held me tightly throughout and didn't let me go even after I had turned the last page.
Tessa returns home to find a small boy in her kitchen. He asks he a simple question, "are you my mummy?" She's shocked to say the least but also very much drawn to the little lad, having lost both her own children, one quite recently, and subsequently her husband since their marriage couldn't survive the tragedy. Eventually though, clarity follows and she calls her ex and asks him to come over. When he does, he is shocked that she hasn't yet called the police. He is also suspect of her story as she hasn't been completely emotionally well for a little while and he fears that she is becoming unwell again. Eventually the police do come and take the boy away. They also are suspicious of Tessa's story, especially when she demands to be kept updated of who the boy actually is. Unluckily for Tessa, she lives next to a reporter who witnesses the whole removal process. In the days that follow, Tessa is hounded by the press and public alike as more of her own personal tragedy comes to light. A tragedy that is compounded when her ex and his new girlfriend spill some news of their own. Her only port in the storm is the garden centre where she works. Her only ally appears to be her boss, Ben. Tessa eventually breaks down and tells him the whole story, how the boy told her that he was taken to be with her, he believes her and encourages her to try and find the person responsible. A simple task that takes her on a rather emotional journey to uncover the really rather shocking truth.
Oh My Goodness. I am so glad that I started this book with nothing else urgent that needed done in my life. I was completely under its spell throughout, so much so that I actually gave over my precious TV rights to my brother for a whole evening whilst I finished it. I got so emotionally involved in Tessa and what was going on that everything else faded into insignificance around it.
The characters in this book really made the story come alive. The differences between Tessa's ex Scott and her boss Ben were perfectly played out. Scott having left Tessa to set up home with his new girlfriend because that path was easier than staying and coping with the emotions after the loss of their child. Compare that with Ben who is literally thrown into the deep end with all that is going on and who takes it all completely within his stride even though he has no real reason why he has to. A lesser man would have walked away from it. But he really is a rock, especially with all his support, belief and encouragement, even though he only has face value to take.
I do admit to working the ending out a little ahead of the final reveal but, I was so caught up in it all that that hardly seemed to matter. As the questions started stacking up, it made little difference that I had some of the answers early, there was still plenty going on that had not yet been resolved to keep me going.
This is my first book by this author, she has only really come on my radar since being picked up by one of my favourite publishers, Bookouture. But on investigation, she has a pretty impressive back catalogue and, as I really loved her style of writing here, along with her interesting characters and compelling plot, I would have no hesitation in picking out a few more of her books to read.
My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.