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11 December 2013

Review: 'This Child of Mine' by Sinead Moriarty (2013)

Anna and Laura, Sophie and Mandy - two mothers, two daughters and a story about the bond of motherly love.

Anna is proud of the job she has done raising eighteen-year-old Sophie. It's always been just the two of them, but that doesn't matter because Sophie has everything she could ever need.

It's a miracle that Laura's daughter Mandy is as happy as she is, considering that Laura remains haunted by the loss of her first child before Mandy was born.

Both women carry painful secrets and can never forget the day their paths crossed. But a chance discovery is about to bring everything into the open, and mothers and daughters, love and lies, past and future, will spectacularly collide...

During 2013 I’ve often come across the name of Irish author Sinead Moriarty. In August her latest novel ‘Mad About You’ was released, but I was contacted by the lovely people at Penguin Ireland about a review copy of ‘This Child of Mine.’ This novel was originally released in 2012, but it was published again in September 2013 with a slightly different cover. Not only was I curious to find out more about Sinead Moriarty and her novels, I also was immediately taken in by the blurb of this book, which promises a fascinating and gripping read.

‘This Child of Mine’ tells the story of two completely different women. There’s Anna; who has done a wonderful job raising her eighteen-year-old daughter Sophie. Her whole life is dedicated to Sophie, and Anna wouldn’t have it any other way. And there’s Laura; who is still trying to come to terms with the loss of her first daughter, Jody, even though she has her difficult teenage daughter Mandy to keep her busy. One thing Anna and Laura have in common is the moment their paths crossed, which influenced their lives in the biggest way, and now it looks as if their paths are about to cross again after an unexpected and shocking discovery...

This review will probably be slightly vague in places, because I don’t want to ruin any reading experiences by giving too much about the book away! The novel deals with a rather controversial topic, which results in a story that is both emotional (it made me swipe away a tear every now and again) and gripping (I finished the book within a few hours, not wanting to stop reading). Sinead Moriarty’s writing style is wonderful and captivating, which works really well with this kind of story. As I already said, I was really gripped by this tale from the first few pages and didn’t want to put it down.

One of the strengths of this novel is the fact that the story is told from several different perspectives. This way the reader not only learns about different aspects of the storyline, but it also results in various emotions which make you sympathise with all of the characters in a different way. At the core of the book there’s a mix of strong and fascinating characters; not only mothers Laura and Anna and their daughters Sophie and Mandy, but also other supporting characters. Sinead Moriarty’s ‘This Child of Mine’ is a truly compelling, intriguing and in-depth read that will draw you in until you’ve finished all of it. Highly recommended to any lovers of women’s fiction; a thoroughly good read!


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