I want to start this review with a little announcement about my reading challenge.
I have almost reached the half way mark and I have enjoyed many of the books I’ve read this year. The real stand-outs for me have been the stories that are a little out of my typical reading zone – the memoirs, the comedies and the political non-fiction books.
The book I’m about to review is a thriller. As most people who follow me know, I do love a good thriller. But I’ve realized over the past five months that relying too heavily on one genre kind of detracts from the point of this whole challenge. I need to branch out and cover a wider range of topics and genres.
So I am going to write a review for this book, and then I am going to make a determined effort to try new things. There’s nothing wrong with throwing a thriller in the mix every once in a while, but I want to try to incorporate more history and non-fiction and quirky novels into the challenge.
I also want to add in that I have started an Instagram account for my book reviewing. The handle is:
I update it with mini reviews as well as photos of the books that are coming next to the blog. It’s a fun way to follow my challenge, so if you’re interested please check it out. I’m going to link it on my blog home page as well.
Ok, now on to the review.
Give Me The Child is a book by English writer Mel McGrath. This is the first McGrath book I’ve ever read, so I wasn’t sure what to expect going in. I did a bit of research and found out that McGrath is an Oxford graduate, and she studied philosophy, economics and politics (at least according to Wikipedia). McGrath has written non-fictions books exploring the information age and the new age movement, and has more recently turned to writing fiction.
Give Me The Child is a great book. It’s unique among a genre that is filled with similar storylines and overused tropes.
When child psychiatrist Cat Lupo is awakened in the middle of the night by a knock on the door, the last thing she expects is that her husband’s mysterious daughter from a one-night stand is going to be standing on the other side. Kate’s world is thrown upside down as she tries to welcome her new step-daughter into her home, but quickly she realizes that the girl isn’t what she seems.
McGrath does an incredible job of writing her character’s back stories. Cat in particular is given a detailed, insightful background that makes the story flow more easily. She is a character haunted by past decisions and overwhelmed by the unexpected pressure of having to welcome a new child into her home. Her intelligence and extensive education, as well as her experience in child psychology, make her anxious of the effect of the new child on her own daughter.
The book explores the complicated relationship working mothers have with society. It also tackles the difficult topic of mental illness and demonstrates how a time of sickness and stress can mark a person for life.
I enjoyed Give Me The Child. It was a little far-fetched at times, but McGrath is a good enough writer that she was always able to bring the story back around into the realm of the believable.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Couple Next Door and Behind Closed Doors. It plays on the same narratives of marital dysfunction and distrust, and part of the storyline is about Cat and her husband navigating the changes in their marriage after a new child shows up unexpectedly.
It’s a relatively straightforward read. Give Me The Child is easy to follow and won’t take too long to finish, so it’s a great road trip book or beach read.