First I remember the darkness.
Then I remember the blood.
I don’t know where my daughter is.
Estelle Paradise wakes up in a hospital after being found near dead at the bottom of a ravine with a fragmented memory and a vague sense of loss. Then a terrifying reality sets in: her daughter is missing.
Days earlier, Estelle discovered her baby’s crib empty in their Brooklyn apartment. There was no sign of a break-in, but all traces of seven-month-old Mia had disappeared. Her diapers, her clothes, her bottles—all gone.
Frustrated and unable to explain her daughter’s disappearance, Estelle begins a desperate search. But when the lack of evidence casts doubt on her story, Estelle becomes the number one suspect in the eyes of the police and the media.
As hope of reuniting with Mia becomes all she has left, Estelle will do anything to find answers: What has she done to her baby? And what has someone else done to her?
Michelle - 2.5 Star
After reading the first 50-60 pages I was not sure I would end up finishing this book. It started off slow and the picture it painted was not one that drew me in and left me wanting to know more.
It is clear early on that Estelle Paradise is suffering from some form of postpartum depression. The images of Mia being left alone and crying most of the time does not help in evoking any sympathy from me toward Estelle. Her husband Jack is even less likable, being portrayed as an unsympathetic and unsupportive husband.
After Estelle becomes the number one suspect in her daughter’s disappearance, and her subsequent confinement to a psychiatric hospital, my interest peaked a bit and my need to find out whether she truly did kill her child, or if she even ever existed, increased.
I will say that this novel really did have me guessing for much of the time. It was at times hard to follow as it jumped back and forth between the past and the present, but I did enjoy how information was slowly revealed to us through Estelle’s sessions with her psychiatrist.
The climax and ending were definitely not what I had expected and I appreciate what the author was trying to do in terms of shock value and surprise, but at the same time I felt it was a bit far-fetched and I had trouble believing parts of it.
I still cannot say with any definite conviction whether I enjoyed this book or not. At times it compelled it me to want to read more and other times I felt I was dragging through to get to a more interesting part.
Thank you to Penguin Random House for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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