About the Book
How far would you go to keep your family safe?
Angie Watts used to have everything. A new home. A beloved husband. Three adored children.
But Angie’s happy life is shattered when her son Liam falls in with the wrong crowd. And after her son’s bad choices lead to the murder of her husband, it’s up to Angie to hold what’s left of her family together.
Her son is missing. Her daughter is looking for help in dangerous places. And Angie is fighting just to keep a roof over their heads.
But Angie is a mother. And a mother does anything to protect her children – even when the world is falling apart…
If home is where the heart is, what happens when it breaks?
What I thought
Overall I wasn’t really that keen on this book. I think maybe it’s not really my kind of genre. It may have started out with a somewhat gritty theme – Angie’s husband is murdered by a gang of thugs, a gang her teenage son has become involved with – but I think the overall theme of the book is a feel good story of hope and triumph over evil. Nothing wrong with that, but it was a little sickly sweet for me in places.
The first half of the book highlights many social ills plaguing the less fortunate in this country at the moment. I could easily get into a massive political rant on the subject as it’s something I feel as strongly about as it would appear the author does too. Homelessness, drug gangs, poverty, debt, most of it brought about and made worse by the unnecessary and ongoing “austerity measures” inflicted on those who need help most. I did find the first half quite depressing to read, although I think that is because the author captured the reality of it so well and has obviously done her research.
Unfortunately the second half of the book didn’t really do much for me either. To me it swung from the depths of despair to one of incredulity. It all became a little too good to be true. You had to suspend what you know to be reality and be led down a path of fortunate coincidence and miraculous solutions to most of Angie’s problems, brought about by the great and good Martin Stone. If only life were really like this. I have to say that Martin Stone started to really get on my nerves what with the amount of influential people he knew and his perfect persona. I’ve nick named him Saint Martin.
Nevertheless there were some very touching moments towards the end of the book and heartbreak too. It did finally manage to reduce me to tears (see, even I’m not completely without heart). I also read the acknowledgements at the end which did explain that as this is fiction you can’t go too far into the real brutalities of life and readers do like some good to come at the end of a book. The author wanted to highlight the plight of how life is for far too many families today and hopes this book goes someway to show what’s going on and that there is only so much we can do. I note that no one in any of the reviews I’ve seen has ever made comparisons of this book with the film I Daniel Blake. If you haven’t seen the film then I would urge you to do so.
I do seem to be in a minority amongst those who have reviewed this book and not thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe I’m just an old misery but I think at the end of the day, it just wasn’t my kind of book. Do read other reviews, lots of readers loved the story and enjoyed the premise that there are good people in the world who are willing to help out when the going gets tough. Though personally I think if everyone vowed never to vote Conservative ever again in their lifetime this would go a long way to doing a lot more good!
♥ Happy Reading ♥
The book is due out for publication on 22 August both in hardback and on Kindle
With thanks to the publishers Harper Collins UK via Netgalley for an ARC of this book.