It’s publication day today for Kerry Fisher’s latest novel Another Woman’s Child and I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for this fantastic family drama. Thank you to Sarah Hardy at Bookouture for the tour invite and the opportunity to read this fab book. If you get chance, pop over to the other bloggers on the tour and see what they thought.
About the book
Could you take in your best friend’s child, even if it risked destroying your own family?
Jo had thought that her life – and her heart – was full. With a busy job, a husband and a teenage daughter who is going off the rails, keeping her life running smoothly had already felt hard enough.
But now Jo sits at the funeral of her best friend Ginny, crushed by the loss of a friendship that had endured for thirty years: from college and their first days at work through to settling down and raising their own children.
Against her husband’s wishes, Jo has made a life-changing decision: to take in Ginny’s teenage son Victor and raise him as her own. Despite her misgivings, Jo feels she had no choice: Ginny was a single parent and Victor had no other family who could take care of him.
But Victor’s arrival is about to break open the fragile cracks that were already forming on the surface of Jo’s family life and in her small rural community… and expose a secret that has remained hidden for many years, with devastating consequences.
From the bestselling author of The Silent Wife and The Woman I Was Before, Another Woman’s Child is an unputdownable and heartbreaking read about the secrets we keep from our families, and the sacrifices we are willing to make for those we love. Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain.
What I thought
One of the things that struck me about this book was Jo’s daughter Phoebe. 16 years old and every parent’s nightmare. Full of back-chat and completely scathing of anything her poor long suffering mum ever has to say, to describe Phoebe as a bit of a handful would be an understatement. Jo’s husband tends not to get involved in the day to day upbringing of his daughter, preferring to stay in the background, so it always seems to fall on Jo’s shoulders to do all the worrying and desperately try to keep Phoebe on the straight and narrow without appearing overbearing.
Add to the mix the fact that Jo’s very best friend since Uni – Ginny has just died, leaving behind her only son Victor, himself just a teenager. As you can imagine Jo has a lot of emotion to deal with. Ginny’s dying wish, plea even, was that Jo should take on Victor, welcome him into Jo’s family and ensure he’s OK. Ginny brought up Victor alone, she never mentioned who his father was, only that he was a one-night stand and Ginny never wanted him to be a part of Victors life to the extent she never even told him he was a dad. There was only Victors grandfather and Ginny’s brother left to look after Victor. Neither were suitable in Ginny’s opinion and she more or less insisted that Jo must look after him.
And so the reader is invited in to Jo’s household to eavesdrop and watch over as one family drama after another unfolds. Luckily in some respects Victor is a quiet, intelligent lad. Despite his own grief at the loss of his mother and the strangeness of coming to live with someone else’s family, Victor does his very best to fit in. Always polite and keen not to make a fuss, he’s quite the model guest.
I really enjoyed this book. Being a fan of many of Amanda Prowse books, this one has many similarities in that it’s basically about family life, the dynamics, the problems and all the emotion that goes with it. Poor Jo is in an almost permanent state of flux most of the way through. She feels guilty in one way in expecting her husband and daughter to welcome Victor into the family, but on the other hand feels she owes it to her best friend’s dying wish and to Victor of course.
She has all the trials and tribulations that her daughter and her daughters friends bring to the story. It encapsulates all the perils modern day family rearing entails. Drugs, racism, addiction, teenage problems, even parents of children’s friends can bring trouble along in that school gate competitive world that sometimes goes on between parents.
I did think that perhaps the ending was all a bit too neatly sewn up for my liking, but that’s just my preference – I prefer true to life rather than a happy ending but it was still nice to see and made you go ahhh, especially after all the angst Jo had gone through.
If you like a good family drama with varied themes threaded through, I’m sure you’ll love this book as much as I did.
♥ Happy Reading ♥
Kerry Fisher is a million-copy bestselling author. She writes women’s contemporary fiction, is a USA Today bestseller and her books have been translated into twelve languages. She was born in Peterborough, studied French and Italian at the University of Bath and spent several years living in Spain, Italy and Corsica. After returning to England to work as a journalist, she eventually abandoned real life stories for the secrets of fictional families. She lives in Surrey with her husband, and a naughty Lab/Schnauzer called Poppy, who joins in the huge dances of joy when her young adult children come home.