My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 5 days on and off
Publisher - Element
Pages - 336
Blurb from Goodreads
Family is not always a place of safety.
Kathleen was just eight years old when her mother was tragically killed in a car accident. And when her father remarries it is to the bitter and resentful Irene who has two children of her own and no space in her heart for another. Irene goes out of her way to make Kathleen's life as miserable as possible and will stop at nothing to get her out of their lives…
When Kathleen is sixteen, a shocking incident rocks the family, and life takes a darker turn.
Among this darkness, Kathleen finds a glimmer of hope in an older man, but Irene is ruthless in her mission to destroy her.
Can Kathleen find happiness or is she destined for tragedy?
Kathleen is our main character, sixteen years old and treated like the family skivvy. Her step mother hates her, her step brother is a gambler but treats her nice, her step sister is just like her mother and dad is a nice guy but basically a door mat. When something happens to rock the family Kathleen finds love in an unlikely place and one that causes scandal in the family. Will Kathleen ever find her happy ever after, especially when Irene, her step mother, is hell bent of making her life miserable.
This book is not what I was expecting, I was pitched it as if I like Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers I would enjoy this. Whilst the book is a good read, it is nothing like the two mentioned authors. By comparing them to those gritty crime writers it leads you to believe there will be murder, scandal, drugs, gangs etc. This is a tale of a Cinderella style family, Kathleen is young, sweet, hard working and her step mother and sister are horrors. She is worked to the bone and verbally abused, her dad just wants peace to allows it to happen. She wants love and acceptance but so much seems to be against her, the reader sees her go on a journey of personal growth and discovery.
The timeline is set in the mid 60s so the choices made by Kathleen at that time would be quite scandalous. She is however a sweet girl looking for acceptance and love, coming from a home where she has very little of it. Things go from bad to worse when Irene receives a devastating blow and Kathleen discovers just how much hate one woman can have for her.
The story goes along at a steady pace, whilst there is nothing that puts you on the edge of your seat, the writing is well done and engages the reader. This is my first time reading this author, I would read her again. 3/5 for me this time and I would suggest readers read her with a blank slate and take it for what it is rather than go in thinking she is like x,y,z other authors, I think you will enjoy the book much more! Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.