** advanced copy received via Netgalley **
I’m absolutely delighted to join the blog tour for The Secret Child by Kerry Fisher today! Many thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture! I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this emotional tale right after I tell you what the novel is about.
Author : Kerry Fisher
Title : The Secret Child
Pages : 354
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : November 29, 2017
Susie did something that she knows she will always regret: giving her baby son up for adoption, to keep her infidelity secret from her family.
Louise, Susie’s daughter, feels the effects of that decision echoing down through the years – her mother has always been difficult, too strict with her but not strict enough with her sister Grace, who is wild and out-of-control. And Danny, Susie’s husband, adores her, but has always sensed something wrong at the heart of their marriage.
When tragedy strikes the family, and a chance discovery threatens to bring the truth to light, the sisters’ relationship is put to the test as they are faced with an impossible choice…
You can run from your past, but it will always catch up with you…
Back in the 60’s, Susie gave up her son for adoption. A decision she will regret for the rest of her life. But with a husband away on a 15 month stint in the navy, the child is clearly not his and Susie wants to protect her family. The novel follows the Duarte family throughout the years and the effect of hiding this gigantic secret has on Susie and her family.
Susie can’t stop thinking about the son she gave away, which has consequences for everyone. Her husband always feels he can’t do anything right or make Susie happy but doesn’t know why. Her eldest daughter Louise has an incredibly strict upbringing and isn’t allowed to make certain decisions based on Susie’s own experiences. Youngest daughter Grace, on the other hand, is raised very differently and turns into a wild child. While Susie only ever wanted to protect her family, it seems she’s only making things worse.
I’m always fascinated by stories involving adoptions. What would make a mother give up her child? How harsh is the experience of the Mother and Baby homes? We’ve all heard the stories throughout the years. Those nuns have a lot to answer for. But just imagine, having six weeks with your child. Six weeks to bond, love and cherish, to soak up every little bit about this child that afterwards will not be a part of your life any longer. It’s cruel and it’s easy to imagine the gaping hole you’d be left to deal with and I feel the author did a brilliant job in getting across that no, you don’t just slot back into your life and carry on.
What I like about The Secret Child is that the author doesn’t just explore the feelings Susie has to deal with but also her family. Why does Susie treat her daughters so differently? And as the years go on, why does she treat one grandchild differently from another, for example? As the second part of the story is told through Grace, the pieces start to come together and the family dynamics change, which made me wonder which side of the fence I’d end up.
This novel pulls at the heartstrings like you wouldn’t believe and left me with a massive lump in my throat. It’s the kind of story that has me reaching for the tissues, just in case, and has me doing that weird waving-hand-in-front-of-face thing to keep the tears at bay. Kerry Fisher obviously knows how to draw relatable and realistic characters that worm their way into your heart and I desperately wanted things to work out for all of them. This is a beautifully written story, sad and heartbreaking, moving and thought-provoking, ultimately incredibly emotional. I loved every minute of it!
The Secret Child is available for purchase!
Born in Peterborough, Kerry Fisher studied French and Italian at Bath University, followed by several years working as an English teacher in Corsica and Spain before topping the dizzying heights of holiday rep and grape picker in Tuscany. She eventually succumbed to ‘getting a proper job’ and returned to England to study Periodical Journalism at City University.
After two years working in the features department at Essentials magazine in London, love carried her off to the wilds of the West Pennine moors near Bolton.
She now lives in Surrey with her husband (of whisking off to Bolton fame), two teenagers and a very naughty lab/schnauzer called Poppy.