If you think photos aren’t important… wait until they’re all you have left of your child.
Your life isn’t perfect, but you’re still happy. Your husband has stuck by you and he’s a good dad. Your daughter Becca makes your heart explode with love.
And then, in the time it takes to say ‘bad mother’, there’s no longer a place for you in your own family. Your right to see your child has disappeared.
Life goes on in your house – family dinners, missing socks and evening baths – but you aren’t there anymore. Becca may be tucked up in bed in Rose Cottage, but she is as lost to you as if she had been snatched from under your nose.
Everyone knows you deserve this, for you what you did. Except you’re starting to realize that things maybe aren’t how you thought they were, and your husband isn’t who you thought he was either. That the truths you’ve been so diligently punishing yourself for are built on sand, and the daughter you have lost has been unfairly taken from you. Wouldn’t that be more than any mother could bear?
A heart-wrenchingly emotional drama for fans of Lisa Wingate, Jill Childs, and Jodi Picoult.
This story was a slow burner for me, and I had no idea what Rachel had done that was so wrong (so wrong as to be asked to leave the house by her husband and daughter!) until two thirds through. When the truth came out, the irony was that she hadn’t been the only one at fault. Her husband, Mitch, was not averse to using her own past against her (Rachel’s father was abusive too) With all fingers pointing at her, was it any wonder she felt she was going crazy.
The story centred on three women who had each lost a child in one way or another – this wasn’t a loss as in death though. The three ladies met as a group to support each other. The group’s founder, Leona, had given her daughter up for adoption many years ago. Viv had given birth to a son with special needs at a time when it was common to place such children in an institution. (Viv, however, had maintained contact with her son, but didn’t have the relationship with him that she would have wanted) And then there’s Rachel, who was asked to leave the house by her husband AND daughter, and with whom her relationships were never the same again.
The story dealt with how they came to terms and tackled their loss. Group support was a key feature, particularly for Rachel and Viv. Their resulting friendship was genuine and meaningful. Leona, on the other hand, was more selfish in my opinion, and had only her own interests – and secrets – in mind.
Few of the characters were actually likeable in this story, with only Viv & her son, Aidan, standing out from the start.
Rachel was hard to like at first because we just didn’t get to know her completely, she seemed confused, needy, dramatic but by the end I rooted for her and so wanted her to be happy.
Her husband Mitch was by far NOT the perfect specimen of mankind he seemed to think he was.
Leona came across as nice and genuinely friendly at first, until it seemed she was really only trying to recreate what she had lost all those years ago. While her situation with her child, and her subsequent relationship worked out in the end, I’m not sure I would trust her.
Rachel’s daughter, Becca reacted in a way that was the most understandable, reacting to what she knew – or thought she knew. She, like her mother, was misled too.
Viv proved to be a lovely, lovely lady who regretted her actions of the past and did her best to make up for it. Her relationship with Aidan was charming and sweet, motherly and yet fragile. She treated Rachel in much the same way, and was a great friend to her.
This wasn’t as thrilling a read as I had initially expected from the blurb, but it was nonetheless fascinating and compelling in an altogether different way. It was more about the consequences of a single action on those involved, and how life can change dramatically in an instant. A thought-provoking read, looking at the fragility of relationships and how one wrong move can last a lifetime.
Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC.