Why do you love your child? Is it because they’re a straight A student, a talented footballer? Or is it simply because they’re yours?
Sarah and Phil love both their children, James and Lauren. The couple have the same hopes and aspirations as any parent. But their expectations are shattered when they discover that their perfect baby daughter has been born with a flaw; a tiny, but life-changing glitch that is destined to shape her future, and theirs, irrevocably.
Over time the family adapt and even thrive. Then one day a blood test casts doubt on the very basis of their family. Lauren is not Phil’s child. Suddenly, their precious family is on the brink of destruction. But the truth they face is far more complex and challenging than simple infidelity. It tests their capacity to love, each other and their children, and it raises the question of what makes – and what breaks – a family.
I came across this book through an online book club called The Pigeonhole and read it with other readers on the web. It was split into 10 parts called staves, emailed to me each day. I was able to leave comments throughout and interact with the others, plus there was a Q &A with the author to read at the end.
This was a domestic drama, another genre I tend to give a wide berth too, but this story really worked for me. It definitely helped that I was limited to how much I could read each day, especially when each stave was left on a cliffhanger.
Being a Mum of a teenage boy I could identify more with Sarah, so preferred her to Phil, who annoyed me. The whole scenario had me constantly thinking about what I would do in this situation. How would I feel if my son’s paternity was called into question after all these years of thinking, feeling, knowing he was my child?
This book kept me guessing all the way through with it’s twists and turns. I really felt like I was a fly on the wall whilst I was reading it and it gave me an amazing insight into life with a severely disabled older child. I discussed it with my husband asking how he would react, what would we do in this situation? I confess that I expected a different ending and was initially disappointed in it’s subtlety, but on reflection I think it was better than what I thought should have happened.
I definitely recommend this to lovers of domestic dramas and think it would make a superb book club read.