Being gifted a book is a lovely thing. And I jumped at the opportunity to receive the book from Publicity Books. ‘Stranger in My Home’, is Adele Parks latest novel To my shame I had never read anything by Adele Parks before, so this was a great opportunity to put that right.
Alison is lucky and she knows it. She has the life she always craved, including a happy home with Jeff and their brilliant, vivacious teenage daughter, Katherine – the absolute centre of Alison’s world. Then a knock at the door ends life as they know it. Fifteen years ago, someone else took Alison’s baby from the hospital. And now Alison is facing the unthinkable. The daughter she brought home doesn’t belong to her.
This is one of those books that drew me in from the the beginning. From that first knock on the door things are not looking good for Alison and her family, and immediately I wanted to know more.
The themes of family bonds, nature/nurture and trust are all explored so well through the nightmarish situation Alison and her family finds themselves in. This story addressed the complex relationship that often exists between mothers and daughters in a way that I haven’t read before and I found that so interesting. As the story develops I suspect most readers will realise that things are not quite as they seem and yet there are enough surprising twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.
Although this is primarily Alison’s story, the other characters are well developed and consequently all provoke reactions. I flitted between feeling desperately sorry for Alison to frustration at her smothering tendencies and naivety and then admiration for her courage as she goes to extreme lengths to save her daughter. Katherine, the adored and beautiful daughter was at times equally frustrating but it was hard to feel anything but compassion for this teenage girl whose world has been turned on its head. Not only is she having to deal with the news that her parents are not actually the parents she imagined they were, but at 15 she is facing a potentially life threatening diagnosis. Again this adds to the current and relevant themes in this book.
I imagine anyone reading this with a new baby may feel a slight stirring of unease. This feels like something which could really happen, which only adds to the believability of this nightmarish story.
The paperback of ‘The Stranger In My Home’ is published on 12th January 2017, why not get your reading year off to a great start by getting your hands on a copy of this excellent book. It has a rather stylish cover too, and you know how I like a stylish cover.