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Second Child: A breath-taking debut novel about the bond of family and the limits of love Hardcover – 1 March 2018
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- Publisher : Atlantic Books; Main edition (1 March 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1786493349
- ISBN-13 : 978-1786493347
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Caroline Bond was born in Scarborough and studied English at Oxford University before working as a market researcher for 25 years. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University, and lives in Leeds with her husband and three children.
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Sarah and Phil have a profoundly disabled 14 years old daughter, Lauren. A routine blood test indicates that Lauren cannot biologically be their child. An investigation begins and the family of Sarah and Phil’s biological daughter, Rosie, are located. It’s at this stage that the storyline flops. The situation is told alternatively by the main characters and is mundane, plodding and uninteresting. There’s an improvement about 3/4 of the way through when the author throws in a ‘curveball’. However, the improvement is short lived. The most interesting character, Nathan, who is Rosie’s ‘father’, is not fully utilised. He’s airbrushed out after nasty behaviour. The ending is a huge disappointment.
I stared to wonder about half way through the book about the possible conclusions, and there were many possible endings as the story has some clever twists and turns in terms of emotions and morals more than drama. I absolutely loved the ending! No spoilers, but it made me question and think afterwards, something I wish more books would do.
A difficult subject handled really well.
Firstly, that the plot builds so well, giving the reader an insight into how events shape and change character. Sometimes the narrative slows down giving the opportunity to explore how the characters feel, sometimes the story moves at pace throwing new events and twists our way. All the way through I felt that Caroline Bond kept me wondering about how each character would react and what they might be feeling, as well as what would happen next.
Secondly, telling the story from the perspective of the different characters works really well. Several times in the story, I found myself thinking I understood what was happening and its implications but then I was asked to see the same events from a different perspective. I found that this made me even more interested in each of the characters and the complexity of their dilemmas.
Finally, I really enjoyed the way the story ended, and how it left me thinking about what had and had not been resolved. Highly recommended!