Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tangled Lives by Hilary Boyd

4 Star

Annie Delancey is happily married, in her early 50s, with three grown children. But Lizzie guards a dark secret. At age 18 she had a baby boy, and gave him up for adoption. She still thinks of him every day. Then, out of the blue, she receives an official-looking letter from Kent Social Services. Her son, Daniel, wants to make contact. On one hand she is overjoyed - she longs to meet him. On the other, she has never told her children that they have another sibling. Tangled Lives follows the effect this revelation has on her family, as, with Daniel as the catalyst, a few small tears in the family fabric suddenly gape wide.

Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star

What a completely captivating topic! I have often considered the ramifications of giving up a child for adoption. How would it affect everyone concerned, including present and future family members, let alone the mother and child themselves? This book was an emotional and heartfelt glimpse into what the outcome could possibly be.

A lot of reviewers have described this as mature chick lit and I have to say that I do think this is quite an apt description as it does have the traditional elements of a chick lit novel yet it addresses a more serious topic. I am a huge fan of books that are realistic and that focus on things I can actually imagine happening which was certainly the case in Tangled Lives. And have I mentioned that I love the title because it is just so perfect for the content?

The book was a very emotional journey that has some difficult moments. I wasn’t always expecting the reactions of the family members yet I presume that a lot of what the author described was very realistic as I could imagine jealousy and uncertainty being two main reactions in such a situation. I can only imagine what it would feel like as a mother to be reunited with a child that you had given up and that you had always wondered about. Especially given the fact that Annie now had other children.

The only thing that I would have liked to have heard more about would be the perspective of Daniel, the child who had been given away and then who found his birth mother after losing his adoptive mother. I can only imagine the thoughts that would go through his mind. I do appreciate that this story was focused on Annie and her side of things yet I found myself pondering if his side of the story could also have been told.
Hilary Boyd is an author that took a brave step with writing such an interesting and gripping story about such a difficult yet important and very human story so I am going to add her other books to my to be read list!

Thank you to Random House for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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