Sinéad Moriarty's breathtaking eighth novel, This Child of Mine, is the story of two daughters, two mothers and the extraordinary bond of motherly love. It's a unique blend of the storytelling genius of Jodi Picoult and the compassion and humour of Marian Keyes, in a complex and deeply involving story that will have readers arguing about the nature of motherhood and the rights and wrongs of the characters' actions.
Sophie is a happy 18-year-old living in London with Anna, her Irish mother. Anna has devoted her life to Sophie. It may be just the two of them but Anna has more than enough love to give. Sophie has everything she could ever need.
Laura is a not-so-happy artist. She too has a daughter, Mandy. But Laura is haunted by the loss of her first child, Jody. Happy-go-lucky as she is, Mandy lives in Jody's shadow and wonders why her mother can never let go.
Both mothers carry secrets and cannot forget the day their paths crossed. But a chance discovery is about to bring everything into the open and mothers and daughters, love and lies, past and future, will spectacularly collide.
Review: wow! I was really blown away by this novel. It's been a while since I've had such a reaction to something I've read, where I find myself calling out in surprise or anguish, urging characters not to do things and almost not wanting to turn the page because I am afraid of what might happen but this is what this fabulous novel brought out in me. Since I've read this I've been urging people to go and pick it up and I definitely urge you to do the same!
I really wasn't sure about the subject of this novel but I am always looking for new things to try and so when I received the opportunity to review this, I went for it and I am glad that I did. I really enjoyed the dual narrative. To begin with the story is written from 2 points of view, Young mum Laura's and Anna, someone who continues to have difficulty with her pregnancies. The start of the novel is truly heartbreaking, and although you can see what is going to happen a while before it does (not always a bad thing) it's still shocking and surprising. After the initial part of the the story, we skip forward to almost present day and a new voice joins the story telling, so us lucky readers get to hear everything from 3 points of view. I always find that this kind of writing makes the novel go a lot quicker, you want to carry on turning the pages so that you know what someone else thinks of a development in the storyline!
Although I feel I ought to have disliked both of the mothers in this story, I really didn't. I could completely sympathise with both of their points of view and thought whilst both of them were in the wrong, neither of them deserved to suffer because of what they had done. This also made the story easier to read, because I wanted the best for both of them, as well as wanting the best for Sophie. The only character I really didn't like was Joan, the interfering grandmother, right up until the end I thought she was entirely disagreeable and judgemental but also fundamental to the storyline and the novel as a whole!
Although the storyline was somewhat controversial, I think that it was a story that needed telling and no part of it was unrealistic. I do feel that somewhere along the line, the media would've been more involved than they were, especially since Laura was such a prominent figure in the art world, but you do hear about things like this slipping though the net all the time, so I suppose this is just another one of those cases. It is really hard not giving away any spoilers here, but I am doing my best!
It had the lovely dual setting of London and Dublin, as well as some great supporting characters which contributed really well to the structure of the novel and were all really realistically described. Although this was a fairly long novel, I got through it really quickly and actually stopped the other book that I was reading to carry on with this one, so drawn in was I! This definitely comes highly recommended, you will cry, you may be angry, you may find yourself shouting at the book as I did, but what you will have is an entirely gripping read containing some excellent writing, wonderful characters and a storyline that will have you guessing right up until the end!
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Check back tomorrow for a fantastic giveaway of this novel so that you can read it for yourselves, and get ready for a super duper interview with the fabulous author on Friday!