Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This Child of Mine by Sinead Moriarty

3 Star

Sophie is a happy 18-year-old living in London with Anna, her Irish mother. Anna has devoted her life to Sophie. It may be just the two of them but Anna has more than enough love to give. Sophie has everything she could ever need.

Laura is a not-so-happy artist. She too has a daughter, Mandy. But Laura is haunted by the loss of her first child, Jody. Happy-go-lucky as she is, Mandy lives in Jody's shadow and wonders why her mother can never let go.

Both mothers carry secrets and cannot forget the day their paths crossed. But a chance discovery is about to bring everything into the open and mothers and daughters, love and lies, past and future, will spectacularly collide.

Kathryn - 3 Star

This Child Of Mine delved into a myriad of ethical questions and while I appreciated the challenges and understood them I was a bit frustrated by the slow pace of the book. I wish it had been a little bit faster on the action and a little less repetitive on the feelings.  The constant recapping of emotions (which were already obvious to the reader) made the flow of my read stop altogether in more than one spot.

At the beginning I found that there was humour interspersed with Anna’s troubles - the children she taught were funny and engaging and Moriarty gave Anna personality by dealing with the strange things the kids’ would say; Her love and empathy for these children, who struggled so much with their home lives, was touching.  However, once Anna moved to London most of the humour I enjoyed at the onset was gone. Though there were a few quirky personalities that injected some lightheartedness into the rest of the book (Laura’s houseguest for one!), on the whole I found the second half of the novel less engaging a read. While I grasp that from London onwards there was a serious nature that wasn’t really all that amusing - I wished there had been some lighter moments here or there.  If we’d been given more of Sophie’s life growing up with Anna then we would have felt the warmth between them even more and Sophie’s upcoming struggle would have been clearer. My other dilemma was that I didn’t care for Laura. I struggled to find empathy for her and found her relationship with daughter Mandy quite cold and off-hand. Laura’s immediate doting of Sophie was frustrating and I sincerely wished for Laura to open her eyes and see Mandy’s needs as well.

While I enjoyed Sinead Moriarty’s writing, and was happy to keep reading to see how the whole thing would turn out, I was fascinated by the premise much more than the characters involved. I wouldn’t hesitate to read another Moriarty novel though, despite my concerns about this one.

Thank you to Penguin Ireland for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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