Book Review: The Secret Daughter by Kelly Rimmer

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I think I picked up this book first by the cover. It just called out to me, and when I read the blurb, I knew I had to read it.

38 year old Sabina is all excited. She has just found out that she is going to become a mother. And she can’t wait to tell her parents, she is sure that they would be just as excited as her. Her parent’s reaction to her pregnancy was one that she had never expected. Shocked at her mother’s reaction, she prodded, until told that she is adopted. It had taken them 38 years to admit this truth. Shocked and blindsided by the revelations, Sabina is completely confused. The only thing she knows is that she want to know more of her birth mother. What made her give her baby up? And why was her parents(adoptive) being so cagey. What were they hiding?

Sabina goes on a journey, finding out more about herself and her parents than she had ever imagined. A beautifully handled story, it had me in tears, had me hoping, had me crying, and had me desolate when I read about Sabina’s birth mother, Lilly’s story. Lilly’s and Sabina’s story progress in parallel, with us the readers gaining an insight into what actually happened all those years ago which resulted in Sabina getting adopted. The mystery of why Sabina’s parents never divulged the fact that she had been adopted bubbles along until close to the end.

The book touched upon the horrors that young unmarried pregnant girls went through in those days where it was all frowned upon. The treatment meted out to them, by the society, and even worse, by their own parents, was heart-breaking to read, to say the least. To think that while this was a fictional account, this could well have been a true account for so many helpless young girls. I can’t even begin to imagine..

The narrative had me from the start. I loved the way it started, had me hooked from the start and as the story progresses, it just got better. The characters felt real, and identifiable. Sabina’s reaction to the bombshell(s) dropped on her feel real. I could feel her pain, her utter confusion at the revelation that changed everything that she knew about herself. To be honest, I can’t even imagine how it must feel, to find out, out of the blue, that the two people you have known as parents, the people with whom you share that unbreakable bond, are actually not your birth parents. In Sabina’s situation, it is even more tough, given that she is pregnant herself, and so far, had been extremely close to her parents. The author has done a brilliant job in bringing out all the emotions that Sabina, Lily and her mum go through. It’s heart-breaking and heartening at the same time. A book I would definitely recommend.

A 4/5 read. A book that I thoroughly enjoyed, and one that I’m sure a lot of my friends would enjoy reading. This was my first Kelly Rimmer read, but having read this one, I’m sure she goes on to my ‘favourites’ list.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publishers, Bookouture for the review copy of this book.

About the Author
Kelly Rimmer is an Australian Fiction writer. She lives in rural Australia.

This book is available from Amazon(UK).

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Book Review: The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

  

Adrian lived a perfect life. Two ex-wives, one wife and a five children. All living in perfect harmony. Everybody loves each other. Maya’s Adrian’s wife babysits for Adrian’s ex-wife Caroline. They even go on holiday together. Life is as perfect as could be.

Perfect until Adrian’s wife died. She stumbles onto the path of a bus, drunk. Was it suicide or was it an accident. Either way, it changed Adrian’s life in a way he had never imagined possible. Forced to confront the reality that he had hid himself from, Adrian now needs to introspect and think.

We come across Adrian’s ‘The Third Wife’, only after her death. As the story unfolds, we get to hear Maya’s story as well as Adrian, his ex-wives and children. An interesting take of a blended family. A family that looks perfect on the surface but digging a little reveals secrets of all sorts. The book does a great job analysing the impacts of a broken family on all the members involved. Even the seemingly fine ones, may have deep secrets hidden. I particularly liked the characters. Each of the characters were vividly portrayed. One may or may not like them, but they felt real, like people around us. I couldn’t stand Adrian, but could understand him and his motivations. The story could be happening around us, may be there are families just like these. I really enjoy books like these where characters have shades of grey, who may not be likable and yet you want to know what happened to them and why.

I haven’t enjoyed all of Lisa Jewell’s books, but this one worked for me. It was an interesting read. I’m not entirely sure of the ending. I’m not sure if I completely bought it, however, it was as good as an ending as any. A 3.5/5 read for me. One that I would still recommend, for the story and the treatment of the story.

Have you read this book? If so, how did you find it?

Thank you, Netgalley and the publishers for the review copy of this book.

About the Author
Lisa Jewell (born 19th July 1968, Middlesex, London) is a popular British author of chick lit fiction. Her books include Ralph’s Party, Thirtynothing and most recently 31 Dream Street. She lives in Swiss Cottage, London with her husband Jascha and daughters Amelie Mae (born 2003) and Evie Scarlett (born 2007).

Tuesday First Chapter First Paragraph 02 June

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Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros are hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

It’s a pretty well established fact in my family that I am not particularly good at keeping secrets. I can think of only two times in my entire life that I have successfully kept something interesting to myself.

The first was when I realised that I had fallen in love with my best friend. We were out at dinner with a group of friends, and over entrées, I caught him staring at me with such love and pride that I could have dissolved into his gaze. I managed to keep my startling realisation to myself for several hours –but as soon everyone else had gone home, I blurted it out in the middle of a totally unrelated conversation. Ted said that I had avoided eye contact with him all night and he’d been wondering why. He says that even when I do hide a secret in my words, my eyes give it away anyway . . . and that if I’d just looked at him that night, there would have been no need to open my mouth at all.
I suppose my glorious history of failure with secrecy makes it all the more impressive that, when I discovered that I was pregnant, I managed to go a whole two days without telling my mother

The excerpt is from ‘The Secret Daughter’ by Kelly Rimmer.
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The book is courtesy, Netgalley. I have to say the combination of the name, the blurb and the first paragraph, has me hooked. Have you read this book? Would you be tempted to read on?