Synopsis: It’s late. The phone rings. The man on the other end says his daughter is missing. Your daughter. The baby you gave away over fifteen years ago. What do you do?
Nora Watts isn’t sure that she wants to get involved. Troubled, messed up, and with more than enough problems of her own, Nora doesn’t want to revisit the past. But then she sees the photograph. A girl, a teenager, with her eyes. How can she turn her back on her?
But going in search of her daughter brings Nora into contact with a past that she would rather forget, a past that she has worked hard to put behind her, but which is always there, waiting for her . . .
Me: This was one dark book. A great noir. Nora is approached by the adopted parents of the baby she gave away to find her after she goes missing. What follows while she embarks on teh search for the missing child is the dark, depressing life story of Nora. She has gone through so much in life – a father who committed suicide, absent mother, care homes, rape, became an alcoholic and is now living in her employers basement. At one point near the end someone calls her a victim and she responds the word is ‘survivor’ and after reading this yes she is one tough cookie.
The missing girl is almost an afterthought as it quickly becomes clear that the child (Bonnie) has been taken because of her blood links to Nora and the events that led to her birth. It’s not a random kidnapping and in the end the part she plays in the book is just to push the story along and give Nora something to do while she recounts her tale.
It’s a taut book, very bleak writing. There’s hardly any light hearted moments in it. In fact when Nora cracks a joke the author comments how rare a thing it is and that Nora can barely remember smiling even herself. It doesn’t even have an uplifting ending. Despite the girl being found nothing has really changed in Nora’s life except the acceptance of who she is. She makes no grand realisations that she will return to rehab or try and make any changes to her life. She is who she is. And I kinda like that. Not every take needs a Hollywood ending. Just one with a satisfying conclusion and in that the author did not fail.
I really enjoyed it. It made for a different pace and style to some of the books I have read recently. This is the authors debut novel I believe and I’m looking forward to what she can do in the future.