Anna and Laura, Sophie and Mandy – two mothers, two daughters and a story about the bond of motherly love.
Anna is proud of the job she has done raising eighteen-year-old Sophie. It’s always been just the two of them, but that doesn’t matter because Sophie has everything she could ever need.
It’s a miracle that Laura’s daughter Mandy is as happy as she is, considering that Laura remains haunted by the loss of her first child before Mandy was born.
Both women carry painful secrets and can never 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…
I got an email from a lovely woman at Penguin asking me if I’d like to review this book so obviously I jumped at the chance so I’d like to say thank you for providing me with a paperback review copy of this book. This Child Of Mine is about a girl called Sophie who finds out that the woman that raised her isn’t infact her biological mother. She sets out on a trip to meet her birth mother and the rest of her long-lost family and while she’s there learns about both of her mother’s pasts, the mistakes they made and how the turn of events came about in the first place. The past gets unravelled, lies come to surface and Sophie has to chose between the life she always knew or the life she never got the chance to live.
I’m sorry to say that I did have a fair few problems with this book but as a unbiased reviewer I feel it’s my duty to be absolutely honest about what I both liked and didn’t like. I’m only one person and considering this book went to No. 1 of the bestseller charts in Ireland don’t let my review put you off trying it for yourself. First of all, I knew it was going to confuse me just by reading the blurb. There were so many names flying around that I found myself having to skip back to remind myself who was who. I did get used to it after a while but it was quite frustrating within the first few chapters having to keep going backwards and forwards. The book was split into 3 points of view – Anna, Laura and Sophie and it gave you a good sense of how each person felt, their emotions and their side of the story however, due to the plot of the story and the fact that you got to hear it from all points of view, it felt like everyone was having the same conversations and arguments over and over again and I will admit it got a bit tedious. The dialogue in general for me was also a problem – it didn’t seem believable. For example, Anna went to her next door neighbour to ask if she had seen her daughter, Sophie as she hadn’t come home and 3 pages later they were still standing there talking about incredible Sophie was and complimenting each other on their mothering skills. It was far too sentimental for me but those of you that know me know that I’m really not…
This book was split into two sections – the first 90 odd pages were set in 1992 ‘Then’ and the rest of the book was the present day ‘Now’ in 2011. I felt the first section ‘Then’ was a bit unnecessarily long. Credit to the author for wanting to be thorough but I think it could have been compressed down to far fewer chapters than it actually was. However, the rest of the book ‘Now’ I felt was very well paced. Something new happened in each chapter, nothing was rushed nor was it dragged out. Having said all that, I did finish this book relatively quickly and it did keep me interested until the end. It was exceptionally well written and it seems to me like a very mature version of a chick-lit novel. I thought the ending was very bitter sweet. It was a great ending that results in peace and harmony for the whole family but personally, I like a bit of drama so it all ended a bit too perfectly! Having read the book I can understand the popularity with Sinéad’s book’s and can see it appealing to a very wide range of people, it was a good book but for me it just didn’t press the right buttons.
I would give Sinead 3 out of 5 cupcakes for this book
Sinead was born and raised in Dublin where she grew up surrounded by books. Her mother is an author of children’s books. Growing up, Sinead says she was inspired by watching her mother writing at the kitchen table and then being published. From that moment on, her childhood dream was to write a novel. After a couple of years toying with ideas, she joined a creative writing group and began to write The Baby Trail. The bitter-sweet comedy of a couple struggling to conceive has now been translated into fifteen languages.
After university, she went to live in Paris and then London. It was at the age of thirty, while working as a journalist in London that she began to write creatively in her spare time. After a couple of years toying with ideas, she joined a creative writing group and began to write The Baby Trail. Shortly after the novel was published, Sinéad had a baby boy – a very happy ending to her own Baby Trail.
Since writing the book, Sinéad has moved back to Dublin where she lives with her husband and baby son. The second and last titles in The Baby Trail series – A Perfect Match and From Here to Maternity, are also published by Penguin. Sinéad’s latest novel is In My Sister’s Shoes.
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