Tuesday 14 May 2019

Lost Daughter by Ali Mercer

I was intrigued by both the cover and the blurb for this book, so joined at the chance to be involved in the blog tour. My thanks to Noelle at Bookoutre for inviting me and for providing my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

The Blurb:

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 what you did. Except you’re starting to realise 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?

Lost Daughter is published today by Bookoutre.

Buy  Links:   

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07NPX3XYMSocial
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2UZwwmU
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2I9ZDlT
Googleplay: http://ow.ly/MG3V30nI3hJ

My Review:

Gosh, this one pulls at the heartstrings! There were so many things that touched me in this book.

Rachel lives alone in a bedsit, whilst her husband Mitch and thirteen year old daughter Becca continue to live in the family home. The relationship between Rachel and the two of them is very strained, and she only sees Becca once a week. Initially it's not clear why, and the chapters alternate between current day, and before the 'loss', until eventually we reach the day of the loss and we find out what actually happened.

Rachel blames herself entirely for what happened and what she lost, and it's heartbreaking. She was clearly ill, and has been taking steps to get better. Through her new job, she meets two other women whose children aren't with them anymore for various reasons, and a friendship develops. She begins to feel positive again.

I was on Rachel's side right from the beginning, before I even knew what has happened. It just felt right. She is a likeable and sympathetic character, who is punishing and isolating herself. I was delighted when she found friends. For some reason, I never warmed to Leona, but I loved Viv.  She's the older, wiser friend that we could all do with. My heart broke for her too.

For me, Mitch is very much the villain of the piece. Of course, it's not quite that simple, but he carries most of the blame, in my mind anyway.

There are so many rich characters in this story, good and bad. They are beautifully drawn and seemed very real to me. My absolute favourite was Aidan, and it was him that had me tearing up at the end.

This book touches on several issues - being an absent parent, mental health problems and disabilities. I have some knowledge of all three of these, and I appreciated the realness in the writing.

Lost Daughter has a real emotional heart and is full of hope. It tells the story of one damaged woman's realisation that perhaps everything wasn't all her fault and the beginning of her healing. And I loved it.

The Author:

Ali decided she wanted to be a writer early on and wrote her first novel when she was at primary school. She did an English degree and spent her early twenties working in various jobs in journalism, including as a reporter for the show business newspaper The Stage. She started writing fiction in earnest after getting married, moving out of London to the Oxfordshire market town of Abingdon and starting a family. She has two children, a daughter and a son who is autistic and was diagnosed when he was four years old.

Ali is fascinated by families, their myths and secrets, and the forces that hold them together, split them up and (sometimes) bring them back together again. She always travels with tissues and a book and has been known to cry over a good story, but is also a big fan of the hopeful ending.

Author Social Media Links:

For updates and pictures, follow Ali on Twitter (@AlisonLMercer) or Instagram (@alimercerwriter), or on her Facebook page (AliMercerwriter)

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