What’s it all about?:
What would YOU do if your child wasn’t yours?
Utterly compelling, Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks’s new contemporary novel The Stranger In My Home, is sure to move, grip and delight her fans, along with readers of Liane Moriarty, Jane Shemilt and Lisa Jewell.
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.
When you have everything you dreamed of, there is everything to lose.
What did I think?:
I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Adele Parks at a recent blogger evening hosted by her publisher, Headline and managed to pick up a copy of her latest novel. Thank you so much to Headline for hosting the evening and for providing a copy of The Stranger In My Home in exchange for an honest review. Adele talked to Cleo (from Cleopatra Loves Books) and I about the brilliant new venture she was championing, Reading Ahead, part of The Reading Agency which encourages reluctant readers to pick up a book. A big part of that is asking high profile authors like Adele and others like Rowan Coleman, Jenny Colgan and Dreda Say Mitchell (to name a few) to write a “Quick Read,” which may make it easier for people to start reading by giving them the confidence they may lack. To find out more about this fantastic programme please go to their website HERE.
Now I have a confession to make. I’ve never read an Adele Parks novel before! I have no excuse, don’t ask me why or judge me but I’m extremely glad I remedied that and picked up her latest. Her writing is deliciously darker than I was expecting full of twists and turns, family drama, betrayal and secrets. Our main character is Alison and the focus for the main part is on her relationship with her husband and teenage daughter Katherine, the latter of whom seems to be the most perfect adolescent any parent could wish for. She never gets in trouble, she is kind and considerate, her grades are good, she excels at everything she turns her hand to and her relationship with both her parents is rock solid.
Well as you’ve guessed from the synopsis, unfortunately things don’t stay this perfect for long. Alison’s world is shattered when one day a stranger turns up on her doorstep and insinuates that she may have brought the wrong daughter home from the hospital i.e. their babies were somehow switched. To top it all off, there is worse news to come for the entire family, something that devastates them all and could have a huge impact on their lives, especially Katherine’s. Alison is determined not to treat Katherine any different. After all, she has been her parent for the last fifteen years and Katherine her child. However, she knows that something this huge cannot be ignored, particularly when her biological child has been living with another family all these years and appears to be everything Katherine is not.
That’s all I really want to say about the plot as I’m very fearful of spoiling it. One thing I must say is do not take this story on face value alone. It is much deeper and murkier than you would think and the places that Adele Parks takes the characters may be quite different to what you would anticipate! This was definitely the case for me. I was shocked and surprised in equal measure but throughout it all felt so invested in the characters and the story-line. Nothing is what it seems, no-one is perfect, mistakes are made and secrets are unearthed. This is an exciting, well paced read that I thoroughly enjoyed and I’m so glad to be saying that this will not be the last I read of Adele Parks.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):