Genre: Domestic Fiction
Megan is the harried but happy stay-at-home mother of three little girls living in a small town. Her life implodes when her youngest daughter, Emma, disappears on her third birthday.
Two years later, Megan is preparing to commemorate Emma’s birthday and the anniversary of her kidnapping, compelled to keep her name alive in the minds of her community and her family. Her commitment to Emma, however, borderlines on obsession as she follows the families of little girls who look like the daughter she lost.
Her obsession with finding Emma has distanced Megan from both friends and family. Her two older daughters are resentful of her relentless and fruitless search for their sister, and her husband pleads with her to accept that Emma is gone so that the family can move on with their lives.
Meanwhile, in the same small town, Jack is beginning to question his wife’s secrecy about their adored granddaughter, Emmie. As Dottie slips into dementia and becomes increasingly protective over Emmie, he can’t help but wonder if there could be a dark secret that Dottie is keeping from him.
Jack and Megan’s worlds finally intersect at the town carnival, when Megan snaps a photograph of a little girl on her grandfather’s shoulders.
My verdict: This book was an emotional rollercoaster. The author based this off of one of her friends experiences with it being every parents worst nightmare. The writing is so emotive I couldn’t not hate jack or Dottie because they’ve experienced their own heartbreak with their daughter. Whilst this book is about the worst possible scenario I couldn’t help but feel warmed by the love particularly with Emma and jack who reminded me of my own grandfather. This book not only deals with child abduction but touches on mental health, dementia, drug addiction and how the feeling of an insecure relationship and possible infidelity can effect not just one person but everyone around them. The book also deals with how Emma’s family members deal with their feelings of guilt and possible feelings of sibling favouritism among the parents. Holmes writing reminds me of Jodi Picoult and Diane chamberlain in the respect that they show the narrative from multiple view points and help the reader sympathise with the characters and making them realise that they cannot define a person by one action and that the intentions and outcomes aren’t always sinister in many missing child fiction books that I’ve read. A touching story in which we can all relate to in one way or another. Steena Holmes has become a favourite on my bookshelf for her ability to write fast paced thrillers that leave you hooked and giving you a new piece of the puzzle to put together at the end, on the other hand she is able to write with such compassion and empathy that you can’t help but see the bigger picture instead of picking a side straight off the bat and judge the characters and their actions before you get to really know them and understand them.