Anna hears screaming coming from her new next door neighbours, and recognises the sound as a child in danger. Calling protective services seems to do nothing, and when it seems as if the child is likely to be murdered, Anna takes matters into her own hands.
How accurate are the court scenes in this? I think that this author will have done due diligence in her research. But please! Don’t take the law into your own hands! I know that child protective services will often err on the side of caution to not take a child away. As I learnt in How (not) to Start an Orphanage, the best place for children to grow up is in a caring (usually biological) family environment. This book takes that to extremes.
There are a number of interesting interlocking situations that have led Anna to feel this way about a child. I sometimes felt that these overshadowed the main point of Charlie’s welfare, but I also understood that the author included them in order to add depth to her character. It’s interesting to see how the past influences the future.
My goodness gracious me. It took a lot for me to pick up this novel. Then I happily read until I was about a third of the way through. Then the pace stopped. I kept reading until halfway, and then stopped reading for a bit. It was just so slow from there on! By the time I got to the end of the novel, I was barely invested in the outcome.
For this reason, I’ll only be giving it 3 stars. If it had been able to maintain the momentum from the first third of the novel (including perhaps a more exciting ‘chase scene’), that would have pushed it over the line to 4 stars just for the concept. If you enjoy Jodi Picoult’s thought provoking works (I’ve read and reviewed four of them, as linked), this is going to be for you.
Pan Macmillan | 28th July 2016 | AU $32.99 | Paperback