BOOK REVIEW: A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe

Format: ARC, NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: God ensured she crossed my path. And that is why I chose her.

The day Louisa and James bring their newborn son home from the hospital marks a new beginning for all of them. To hold their child in their arms, makes all the stress and trauma of fertility treatment worth it. Little Cory is theirs and theirs alone. Or so they think…

After her mother’s suicide when she was a child, Louisa’s life took an even darker turn. But meeting James changed everything. She can trust him to protect her, and to never leave her. Even if deep down, she worries that she has never told him the full truth about her past, or the truth about their baby.

But someone knows all her secrets – and that person is watching and waiting, with a twisted game that will try to take everything Louisa holds dear.

Review: Flipping heck, what a roller-coaster. This review may contain some small spoilers… But nothing major. So you know, read at your own will. Just wanted to get that out the way before someone shouts at me! This is my first Gemma Metcalfe read and from the blurb, it certainly sounded like my kind of book. You know I love a good Thriller and this seemed like the epitome of a good Thriller. The book opens with Louisa giving birth to the baby her and her husband have gone to great, painful lengths to conceive. Having a history of mental illness, when strange things start happening which lead Louisa to believe someone is trying to take the baby, nobody believes her, not even her husband.

Louisa loses grip with reality more and more dramatically over the course of the book and after going backwards and forwards between her past and present (which was done well), we begin to build up a picture of Louisa’s life and mental state until she completely unravels and even we, as readers, don’t know what’s real and what’s not or who to believe. There’s an awful lot going on in this book and dare I say a little bit messy at times? But on reflection, Louisa’s state of mind is being portrayed well in the writing. If she’s confused, then so are we. This was a very easy to read book, although I had a lot going on in the time I read it, I got through it in about 3 sittings which to me, a fairly slow reader, is brilliant. It doesn’t take very many chapters for the “just one more” to settle in. 

I have a lot of thoughts about this book; both good and not so good but I don’t want to ramble too much and it’s incredibly difficult to say anything without giving too much away. I’ll start with my immediate thoughts which is everything seemed a bit unrealistic. And I’m the first person to say how much I hate it when someone says that in a book review of a Fiction book (because like, duh, it’s Fiction, it’s not supposed to be real?!) but I just mean like the dialogue and the reactions of people – including Louisa – I just felt were a bit too OTT. There were also far too many exclamation marks which is a little pet peeve of mine in novels.

This definitely isn’t what I would call a slow-burner, it’s very much full steam ahead that you almost don’t have time to breathe. I do enjoy that in a book occasionally and with this focusing very much on Louisa’s mental state, I think it was done well but some parts were awfully dramatic which I did find myself ‘hmmm’ing’ at on occasion. I also found some parts a bit “telling not showing” (again, another phrase I hate in a review but I can’t think of a better way to put it, ugh!), particularly in the beginning but this soon fizzled out as we got right into the action.

One thing I really did like was the ending (this is where there’s small spoilers, in case you wanna skip this paragraph). I can imagine this ending being a bit hit or miss, depending on who the reader is but personally, me and my dark soul loves an ending which isn’t all flowers and rainbows and this one definitely isn’t. There’s a lot of unanswered questions and the ending wasn’t clear cut to the point where you can almost make up what happens next yourself. It surprised me, when I turned the page and was faced with the acknowledgments instead of the next chapter. But it certainly made a nice change to the endings I’m so used to reading in Thriller’s.

The last few paragraphs had some nice messages about being the hero of your own story which on reflection, was a nice way to end and otherwise extremely dark story. It certainly ended up being a lot darker than I expected but again, another element of the book I liked because I like dark and miserable things! I’m rating this book 3.5 stars on the basis that, I enjoyed it because I read it so quick and was eager to find out what was going on and it was something a little different, which is always welcome. But I personally found it a little messy and unorganized in places, unrealistic and all too convenient. But otherwise, not a bad book at all.


Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.


  1. This sounds so interesting – I always love a review where you can’t say too much, usually means there’s a gripping plotline! But I totally get you about unrealistic aspects in books. I really hate when characters just act ridiculously, it’s so distracting. This sounds like it’s worth picking up though!
    Beth x

    1. Some books are so hard to write a review for cos it’s like “this but was good… but I can’t say anything about it” haha xxx

  2. Ooooh this sounds so intriguing! I love a thriller, especially ones that are a little dark and this sounds like something I can get my teeth into! xo
    Sian |

    1. This is definitely a little dark! xxx

  3. Sounds like a great book.. Plus you did q great review on it

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  4. I’m adding this to my ‘next book to read’ list…which has been getting longer and longer. Hopefully I’ll be able to read this by Christmas 😀

    1. Haha good luck! xxx

  5. Thrillers aren’t usually my kind of reads but your post is making me so intrigued to give this one a go! Always love reading your book reviews:)

    Kate |

    1. I could certainly recommend some great Thrillers if you ever need them! xxx

  6. I absolutely love when books take you on a roller coaster ride, especially when it’s a thriller!! what a great review, I’m going to have to check this one out soon 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂

  7. I don’t think it will be for me but it sounds pretty interesting x

  8. I read Trust Me by Gemma and I loved it so I already knew I would be adding this to my list. I get what you mean about something being too unrealistic though. I have one of those annoying brains that like to analyse everything in books and films so if it is something way too out there it can turn me off.

    1. I’m literally exactly the same! Hope you enjoy this one 🙂 xxx

  9. This sounds like a great read, my TBR list is getting longer and longer hehe!

    Charlene |

    1. Nothing wrong with that! 😉 xxx

  10. Like you, I love a great thriller! I do find that it takes a really good author to be able to make the perfect blend between thrilling, organised and a good ending that doesn’t come off as like you say ‘convenient’! I’m for sure adding this to my TBR, I’m excited but I wonder if it will be *too* dark for me to finish!?
    Kate x

    1. Haha I don’t think it’s TOO dark. I’ve certainly read darker! I think it’s a safe bet 🙂 xxx

  11. I got very interested personally as I read your review so I skipped certain parts where you had some spoilers as you said lol. I think I’m gonna give it a read myself after I finish my current book!💕😩 Although I hate scary themed movies, thrillers in books I think I can handle. Great review.

    1. It’s certainly not scary… more just confusing and messes with your head! Hope nothing got spoiled for you & you enjoy it! xxx

  12. Sounds like an interesting read, Jenny. I’m not one for thrillers but I have a couple of friends who are so I’ll steer them your way to read the review. That said, I love books where you can make up your own ending, that’s so unusual and refreshing. Fab review, as always xx

    Lisa |

    1. You can certainly do that for this one. I was a bit stumped so I didn’t really make anything up! xxx

  13. I’m currently reading my first thriller so have been looking for recommendations. Great review!

    Steph x

    1. Oh I love Thrillers so if you need any recommendations you know where to find me! xxx

  14. Great review! <3

    1. Thank you ☺️

  15. I’ve been eyeing this book up for a while, I think I’m gonna go and buy it now, I’ve tried to avoid the spoilers as much as possible, but I love the way you’ve described this book!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Thank you! Hope I didn’t give too much away x

  16. I may have to give this one a go xx

    1. I’d recommend, it’s had a lot of good reviews x

  17. I’ve had to sneakily skip some of this post as this book is next on my to read post. My mum recently read it and wouldn’t stop going on about it!!

    1. Oh wow really? I don’t mind hehe hope you enjoy it!

  18. I know exactly what you mean about the problem with ‘unrealistic’ aspects. Like yes, I’m here for flying cars in a book that has flying cars, but if you’re writing about ordinary people then they should act like ordinary people! I do love the sound of this book, I can totally see how things like postpartum depression and a history of mental illness would mean that a paranoid mother wouldn’t be taken seriously and I’d be interested to see how that plays out.

    1. You’ve summed that up perfectly! Like I said I HATE using that phrase but you’ve hit the nail on the head. If you’re interested in those aspects I think you’d enjoy this one!

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