- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: HQ Fiction - GB (21 January 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0008319162
- ISBN-13: 978-0008319168
- Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
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The Night Olivia Fell Paperback – 21 Jan 2019
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‘A stunning thriller . . . an atmospheric, absorbing page-turner’
Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not a Sound
‘Beautifully written and moving, with characters I felt I knew, The Night Olivia Fell is a stunning debut that kept me guessing right until the final, heart-breaking twist’
Claire Douglas, Sunday Times bestselling author of Do Not Disturb
‘I was absolutely hooked; it was such an emotional read that I was broken by the end. Heart-breaking and thrilling at the same time’
Jenny Blackhurst, author of How I Lost You
‘Christina McDonald has crafted an emotionally charged mystery that will leave readers equally gut-wretched and gripped. The Night Olivia Fell welcomes a talented new addition to the world of domestic suspense’
Mary Kubica, bestselling author of The Good Girl
‘If you’re like your gripping mysteries to keep you guessing till the very end, then look no further’
‘Twists and turns galore in this clever tale’
‘A haunting mystery that builds intrigue and emotion effortlessly’
‘Buckle up your seatbelts for this emotional rollercoaster of a novel’
About the Author
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The Night Olivia Fell is a dramatic domestic suspense and superb debut novel by Christina McDonald. I was completely hooked by this story right from the beginning. As a parent, I really felt for Abi and what she was going through.
The story is well written- with clever little twists and developments that had me trying to put all the pieces together and figure out what was happening. The story has mystery, drama, secrets, lies, intensity, and emotion. The story is told from a duel point of view which helps to build a bigger picture and gives the reader plenty of information to think about. There are flashbacks which help to build some of the backstory, as well as giving us Olivia’s perspective on everything. The story has a real unpredictability to it- which left me suspicious of everyone and everything- and added an intensity to my reading experience.
When Abi Knight receives the call that every parent fears, her life changes in an instant. Her 17 year-old daughter has fallen from a bridge and Abi rushes to the hospital where she receives the heartbreaking news that Olivia is brain dead….. and pregnant! She’s informed that Olivia will need to remain on life support, to keep the baby alive and bring it to term. Abi is completely devastated, feeling quite shocked and a little lost. Till she sees the bruises on Olivia's wrists, which raises questions- What really happened to her daughter? But when the police rule Olivia's fall as an accident Abi isn’t convinced- and decides to search for some answers herself. Will she discover the truth?
This story raises so many questions- and really had me thinking the whole time. It poses the question of how well do you know your children, and how well do they know you. Mother’s intuition comes into play, as well as the mother/ daughter relationship, and a mother’s love. There were heartbreaking moments, as well as some touching and tender scenes. Have some tissues on hand- prepare for some ugly-crying…. And OMG- that ending!!!
A superbly crafted and suspenseful mystery- quite a credit to Ms. McDonald, especially as this is her debut novel!
I look forward to more from this talented author!
Thank you, Ms. McDonald!
It starts with a parent’s worst nightmare. Abi Knight is woken in the middle of the night by a phone call advising her that her daughter Olivia is in hospital on life support after a fall from a bridge and is not expected to survive. But that can’t be right – Olivia is right in the next room, safely tucked into her bed. Isn’t she?
I admit I was hooked pretty much from this point onwards, and appreciated the 3.5 hour plane flight that enabled me to devour this book in one massive read-a-thon that left me in tears. Yes, there also is the mystery of who really was responsible for Olivia’s fatal fall, but to be totally honest, this was not the focus of the book for me. Anyone in the long line of suspects could have been guilty, and it would not have changed the gut wrenching truth that a beautiful young life had been lost. As the story slowly unfolds through Abi’s POV in the present, trying to come to terms with the loss of her daughter and searching for the truth, we also hear from Olivia’s POV starting in the past and exploring the events leading up to her fall.
McDonald explores so many interesting and emotional themes in her book. How well do we know our children? How well do we know our parents? As both Abi and Olivia tell us their versions of the story, it becomes obvious that their realities are quite different and that each is hiding things from the other. Abi, who is always questioning her ability to be a good mother and to protect Olivia from harm, has a strong sense of guilt and failure that accompanies her grief. How did she not realise that Olivia was in trouble? McDonald also throws out this interesting question: do you prefer happiness or truth?
I loved the soul-searching journey each and every character embarks on in this thought-provoking book and am so happy that I read it as a group read with the wonderful Travelling Friends. Our discussion added so much more to this book, and brought up some challenging questions and truths that may otherwise have got lost in translation. I highly recommend reading this book with a friend or a group to be able to talk about it – from its moral and ethical dilemmas to its hidden, simple questions in life. There was a depth to this story not often found in other mysteries, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I have read quite a few thrillers in the recent past that featured teenage voices, and I admit that I am very picky and easily underwhelmed with books that get this element wrong. So I am very happy to say that Olivia did not fall into that category. Whilst her chapters truthfully reflect the teenage voice, I always felt that I could relate to her thoughts, be it through raising my own teenagers or memories of my far distant teenage years. It was the contrast of Olivia’s thoughts to Abi’s impressions of her daughter that I found especially thought provoking.
I could go on and on discussing this book and am grateful that I had the opportunity to take part in a Q & A with the author to discuss some aspects of the story that affected me on a personal level. If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller, then this one may not be the right book for you. However, readers who love character driven and emotionally charged narratives with the additional bonus of a mystery at the heart of the story will enjoy this one! I would also fully recommend it for a book club read, as it made for the most wonderful and deep & meaningful discussions. A wonderful debut – I look forward to reading more from this author in future!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
From there, the narrative shifts between Abi, mostly in the present day with some flashbacks, and Olivia in the months leading up to her fall, until the two narratives merge in a masterful way.
Abi believes from the start that Olivia’s fall is no accident. She sees bruises on her wrists, and she quickly learns no one is taking her seriously, including the police. Once they finally begin to investigate, the case never seems to be their priority, and Abi decides to take matters into her own hands.
What happened to Olivia that fateful night, and how will this tragic story end?
There are so many things I loved about The Night Olivia Fell, and the biggest is how grounded it is in reality with authentic emotions, relationship dynamics, and characters. And those characters…wow! Not one is simply good or bad; they are a nice mix of complexity that keeps you guessing, especially when it comes to pointing the finger at who might have harmed Olivia. The author kept a wide net cast when looking for the suspect. I would develop a theory, and then pan to the next potential perp as the story went along and red herrings were dangled.
The Night Olivia Fell is so much more than the typical suspense story. While it has all the paramount trademarks, including secrets, lies, and formidable tension, it is in a league of its own with its intensely relatable characterization and raw emotion. You will love Abi and Olivia, and you will most definitely want to wrap your arms around each of them together, as you read their story and accept their individual fates as mother and daughter.
I read this book as a group read, and this was the best kind of story to read together. We shared in the tension, the love for these characters, and the guessing game at just who was guilty at the center of it all.
I read the book early with a complimentary copy; however, I preordered the book because I enjoyed it so much. All opinions are my own.
Alright...on with my review...
This is the part where I would normally enter a profound quote from the book, however, as hard as I tried, I could find nothing quotable within this unimpressive prose.
I often find myself in disagreement with the masses when it comes to hyped-up books such as this. But in this case I am COMPLETELY DUMBFOUNDED by the plethora of 5 and 4 star reviews.
The first 100 pages or so caught my attention but then I couldn't skim fast enough just to get it over with, eventually finding myself at an anti-climatic ending.
This story has been done and done and done again and this version added nothing novel to this tired premise.
I'm not a wordy reviewer and I really don't see the point in delving into the endless list of ways this book was a mammoth disappointment for me.
Friendly Disclaimer: This is not a thriller. It's more like a pseudo-mystery that should have been marketed to a teen audience rather than adult.
IN SUMMARY: I read two other books while reading this one. 'Nuff said.
2 Stars ⭐⭐ only because the first third was a compelling read.
Did Olivia fall or was she pushed? The police seem to have decided to half-heartedly investigate what her mother Abi is certain is a crime. Brain dead, kept alive so her fetus can grow, the list of people who could have pushed Olivia is longer than Abi can imagine. The boyfriend? The secret boyfriend? The ex best friend? Her biological father? Her half sister? Or could THE NIGHT OLIVIA FELL truly have been an accident?
You will be unable to resist this unputdownable book.
There is no love like the one a mother has for her child which the author made us see from the beginning. The author told us a wonderful multifaceted story filled with sorrow, love and the art of forgiveness.
I highly recommend this book and am very much looking forward to her next one.
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