My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Pages - 304
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Source - ARC
Blurb from Goodreads
The second novel from Fiona Mitchell, author of the stunning The Maid's Room***
Two women. Two children. But whose is whose?
When two strangers, Tess and Annie, undergo IVF at an American clinic, their embryos are mixed up and each woman gives birth to the wrong child.
The women only discover the devastating error three years later. Tess wants to swap the children back; Annie doesn't. As the pair wrangle, neither of them expect what unfolds.
Tess and Annie have their embryos implanted after IVF in a clinic in America, Annie lives in America, Tess in England. Three years later and Tess hasn't bonded with her child, she dislikes him and can't help but stress over his behaviour, issues, trouble. Annie couldn't be more blessed, Willow is everything she wanted in a child and more, her only baby. When it comes to light Freddie can't be Tess's son she digs deeper and becomes obsessed, what is her real baby is out there and nothing will stop her trying to find out.
Ooft guys I don't have any kids (I have furbabies) and I felt the emotional punch from this one. A lot of Tess's decisions, behaviour and choices really makes you question her as a human being. But it is so easy to judge someone when you don't walk in their shoes, live their lives and as the book progresses we get a bit more insight into why she is the way she is. Annie on the other hand is so different but would she be the same if she brought up the other child? How much is reactive behaviour, how much is learned? For a wee bit I felt echos of "We Need To Talk About Kevin" with some of Freddie's scenes but then is that to provoke you into thinking a certain way?
If it a book that pulls you a bit through the emotive ringer, you try not to judge but scene after scene you find yourself doing just that. Then re evaluating, what would you do? I also wondered if you found yourself in that situation *touch wood* what would you do?
The two families are so different in many ways, financial status and the struggles that come with each class, children, Freddie has siblings, Willow is an only child and the women could not be more different. There are so many parts to this book that will get the reader thinking/chatting/debating. This is the second book I have read by this author, I very much look forward to her next, 4/5 for me this time!
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