Monday 6 June 2022

Review: A Mother's Heart by Carmel Harrington

 Before we dive into my review of this fabulous new book from Carmel Harrington, I have an interview with this author coming up on my channel on Thursday at 6pm BST. If you're reading this before then, you can set a reminder or if you're reading this after the interview I'll leave it below for you to watch!

Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

While Rachel Butler likes her life in a pretty Dublin coastal village, her heart lies in Hawke’s Bay, where she grew up. Visiting for the first time since tragedy tore her family apart, she and her stepchildren fall for its beauty and outdoor lifestyle.

Malahide, Ireland
As Rachel picks up the threads of her life as a single parent, she can’t shake off the memories of her loving family in New Zealand – and her dream house, the villa on the bay. But it’s time to move forwards with their life in Ireland, close to the children’s grandparents, amid the familiar surroundings they all know well.

Until the children’s grandmother, still grieving, starts to interfere, questioning Rachel's position as stepmother.

Until Rachel’s attempts to strengthen the family she loves so dearly backfires, pitting everyone against each other.

And until her late husband’s parents mend the rift that has existed as long as she’s been married – bringing with them an explosive secret . . .

Review: I listened to this book on audio and the narration was excellent!

I just love the many meanings hidden in the title of this book. A Mother’s Heart. Rachel is a mother and she is our main mother that we follow in this book but then there is the mother of Olivia and Dylan whom Rachel has recently adopted. Then there are 3 grandmothers all with concern for their own children as well as their grandchildren. Finally we have Rachel’s sister who is yearning to be a mother too. The stories of all 6 of these mothers are woven together so beautifully in the way that Carmel Harrington knows how to do so cleverly.

The wonderful thing about this book is that we get to hear about and from all of the mothers in question over the course of this novel. We get to hear from them and therefore each and everyone of them gets our sympathy as a reader and probably if you are a mother yourself then your empathy too. I love a book with multiple narratives and this writer does that so well. Just when you think you’re about to make a breakthrough with a character or someone reveals something in their life, we switch direction and you hear from someone else. This makes for an excellent page turner though!

Not only does this book have multiple points of view but it also has multiple locations. This is another thing that I loved about Carmel Harrington’s previous novel. Switching between New Zealand and Ireland is quite a contrast but both settings are written so well they both feel like home. Switching settings also allowed some of the tension to diffuse between some of these mothers and I think I was as grateful as Rachel in some instances to get away from things and have a change of scenery. 

Rachel is definitely the star of the show in this book. She is instantly relatable and easy to empathise with because she goes about her life in such a considered and caring way. She loves her step children and she has done the very best for them the entire time she has been in their lives. Everything she does outs them first but she is so torn after tragedy has followed her and affected her so many times. Whilst this may not sound like the most appealing concept to deal with in a novel, it is the way that Rachel deals with this stress and the tragedies that face her that is the uplifting thing about this book and what endears her as a character. I am sure that she will touch many hearts and that this novel will bring hope and joy to many people.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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