* * * * * 5/10
The book started out very strongly, told at first from the perspective of Amy, a young girl who was born to a kidnapped woman. She has been in captivity her whole life and her point of view is entirely convincing, as is the character change to Beth. The emotions are very real, the dialogue genuine and the plot compelling.
I was glad to see it didn’t end where it could easily have but instead went into the effect the kidnapping had on both Amy and Beth’s lives, the effect it had on their loved ones too, where Beth’s fiance had moved on and had a child with another woman. There was some moment where I found myself holding my breath as I wondered ‘will they, can they, how can this work out’.
Where the book failed for me was chapters 38 – 44. They were completely unnecessary and felt a lot like they existed only to add to the word count. What little information that’s needed from these chapters would have been better presented from chapter 45 onward.
I found Liam to be insufferable in these chapters. His constant correction of Beth’s British English became a nuisance – it wasn’t a particularly humorous joke to begin with and wore very thin very fast. Perhaps because constant correction is a technique employed by abusers to demean their victims, I found it coloured my view of Liam almost irreparably.
Chapter 45 is where we come to reading about Joss. Joss is Beth’s son, fathered by her kidnapper and the reason she escaped. Here is where the story picks up again, slowly at first but the plot is back on track and the characters are once again readable.
Joss puzzled me somewhat throughout this section of the story. That he wanted to meet his father is understandable, that he felt anger toward Liam at being lied to is also understandable but that he thought his biological father might be someone who he could play happy families with was a little too far-fetched. He knew what Evans had done to his mother and sister, and yet he still wanted a father-son relationship isn’t believable.
With some editing and a lot of deleting, this would be a ten-star book. Well worth the read, and mostly well thought out.