Release Date: 22nd November 2017 / Publisher: Bookouture
Format: Kindle / Pages: 319
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Christopher would never hurt anyone. Not intentionally. Even after everything that’s happened I still believe that…
Christopher Harris is a lonely boy. A boy who has never fitted in to his family. Who has always felt something was missing from his life.
Until one day, when he discovers a suitcase in his family’s attic. And a secret about his mother that changes everything…
Mother will hold you breathless until the very last page and leave you reeling. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Apple Tree Yard.
Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publishers for this review copy, which was given in exchange for an honest review. Also thank you to Kim from Bookouture for organising the Blog Tour and given me a space on it!
Christopher has never fitted into his family. He looks different to his other siblings and has been treated differently for as long as he can remember. When he is 18 and on the verge of leaving for University in Leeds he discovers that he was adopted. As far as he was concerned, this explained everything. He wanted to find his birth mother, and so contacted Social Services in Liverpool, where he was apparently born, to see if they can help track his real mother. When he finally meets her, he realises he finally has the perfect family that he has always wanted….and will do anything to make sure that it stays that way.
This is the first book that I have read by this author. It is going to be really difficult to review this book without giving away too many plot lines, so bear with me! This story is told from several perspectives. The main one is about Christopher. His story is told from an unknown narrator, telling you the story that they have been told from Christopher himself. I won’t tell you who the others are for fear of spoilers! The story is mainly set in the 1970/1980’s. It’s full of flares, afghan coats, cannabis and Tetley beer! The Yorkshire Ripper, who was a serial killer in the early 80’s, also gets quite a few mentions! Christopher is obviously a loner and has been like this for most of his life. Whilst rooming with Adam at University, he gets the opportunity to become someone different, helped along by Adam and his talent for clothes shopping, fashion advice and picking up women. Whilst Christopher is trying to be ‘one of the lads’, he’s also looking for his birth mother. When he finds her, he realises that this is the perfect family that he’s been looking for all his life and becomes very attached to her. He also keeps the fact that’s looking for her or even that he found her secret, not just from his friends but from everyone. The whole relationship between Christopher and his mother, to me, felt uncomfortable – it was more of a marriage than a mother and son – and you just knew that something wasn’t quite right. It’s very difficult to describe without giving away too much!
I love the era that the book was set in, and I thought the introduction of the Yorkshire Ripper storyline into the story was very clever. The unease and terror that the Yorkshire Ripper struck into the people of Leeds certainly comes across in this book and adds to the tension throughout. You do feel for Christopher at some points throughout the book, but then at other times I didn’t like him at all. The main people I had the most empathy for was his adoptive parents, who only ever had his best interests at heart.
The story felt a bit of a slow burner at the beginning, and to be honest, I didn’t really understand where it was going! It definitely was one of those books where the suspense built up very slowly, giving you the whole back story first. Then bam!!….right towards the end, the story changes! The plot line twists and turns into something that I just didn’t expect. I thought I had it all worked out, but was so wrong! All the slow build up was so worth it for that last quarter of the book!
A very dark, unsettling read. If you like fast paced action then this probably isn’t the book for you. In my opinion, it is definitely worth the read and I would highly recommend it!
After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London before moving to Aberdeen to be with her husband. In Aberdeen, she worked as a producer at BBC Radio Scotland before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome. There, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington. Her first novel, Valentina, published by Blackbird Digital Books, came out in July 2016. Her follow up novel, Mother, is published by Bookouture.