Published: 24th September 2015
When Estelle’s baby daughter is taken from her cot, she doesn’t report her missing. Days later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car, with a wound to her head and no memory. Estelle knows she holds the key to what happened that night – but what she doesn’t know is whether she was responsible…
Thank you to Avon for kindly sending me a review copy.
The gripping narrative opens with a missing person’s bulletin for a seven month old baby girl who disappeared from her crib one evening, before the plot then takes us to Estelle (the mother and our main character) being held in hospital due to a car accident, although I don’t think it was much of an accident.. The detailing of the surroundings and Estelle’s thoughts were unbelievably fantastic, descriptive and extremely gripping. While she is in the hospital, her mind slowly begins to piece the jigsaw puzzle together about how her little baby daughter Mia was taken along with all of her belongings. Gripping – that’s the only word I can possibly use to describe the opening.
“Bright as can be, surrounded by darkness. A chaotic universe illuminated by heavenly bodies.”
Very quickly, the plot becomes dark and dangerous with Estelle’s honest memories of her life from when baby Mia was born up until she was taken. The constant troubling thoughts from her mind were captivated superbly from Alexandra’s writing and as they continued, I fell into Estelle’s world even more than I thought possible. The more “forgetful” Estelle became, the more I wanted to pinpoint this mystery on one character in particular but was it too early to call?
“She had fallen asleep. And I had failed to buckle her seatbelt.”
The plot deals with a very serious issue of postpartum depression which Estelle is told she has. When Estelle begins to remember what happened on that day, there’s a slight flashback and oh my, it was by far my favourite part of the narrative. It was so vivid, so clear… Yet it was all a memory which may or may not be true. I did hope, however, that what her memory showed wouldn’t be true because then, that’s the mystery of his daughter solved. The pace of the plot was unbelievably fast and I liked it. Wanting to know who had her daughter and what had really happened that day was all I could think about. The possibilities were endless and I hoped the outcome was as good as other readers made out.
“I’m Amnesia Mom, a news cycle amusement. That’s all I am in everybody’s eyes. Guilty.”
The ending is everything I hoped it would be and quite possibly, more. Alexandra’s writing was so consistent, precise and the amount of detail which went into knowing everything from police investigations to having talks with a therapist was incredible. The final sentence was truly beautiful and for all the Mothers out there, you may cry.