Little Miracles by Giselle Green
|Little Miracles by Giselle Green|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Fairhead|
|Summary: Great writing exploring complex themes, as a young couple react in different ways to the ultimate tragedy in their lives.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 420||Date: February 2009|
I was pretty sure that this was going to be an emotional book. On the front cover is the question, 'How do you let your child go when you believe he's still alive?' and the blurb on the back tells us that the story is about a young couple whose toddler Hadyn goes missing.
So it's no spoiler to say that this is the overall plot of the book. The story opens as Julia, Charlie and their 21-month-old son Hadyn arrive in Spain to spend some time with Charlie's family. Julia and Charlie are preparing to get married, but Julia is harbouring a secret which she knows she must tell him... yet it becomes progressively more difficult to do so, as time goes by.
The plot is complicated by Charlie's deep involvement in charity work. He is a plastic surgeon, and spends some of his time operating on children from Africa whose faces have become seriously deformed as a result of illness. He's a very likeable person overall, and Julia seems to deal well, on the whole, with the amount of time he spends on his work.
The narration alternates between Julia and Charlie, told mostly in the present tense as we follow them through about a year of their lives. I found the early chapters quite tense, knowing that Hadyn was going to go missing, and watching out for the time when tragedy would strike. Then it happens, amidst confusion and uncertainty. Julia is, naturally, devastated. The rest of the story - the majority of the book - follows her as she tries to find out what happened, convinced that the local police have hidden things from her. As the investigations progress, Julia's past unfolds; she learns a great deal about herself and her past, and uncovers some surprises.
The book is character-driven, and I found both Julia and Charlie believable narrators. The whole idea of a child going missing, with no idea what happened to him, is a nightmare which I am thankful I have never experienced. I expect I would be like Julia, clinging on to every possible avenue of hope rather than accepting the official pronouncement and deciding to come to terms with it.
The writing is good, the conversations flow well, and I could imagine the various minor characters fairly easily. I was surprised that I didn't feel more moved; despite the emotional subject matter, my main emotion was tension, wondering what the outcome would be, rather than sorrow or pain. And - without giving anything away - I found the ending of the book annoying, since it left us uncertain about what was going to happen. I wanted at least one more paragraph... indeed, I re-read the last few pages wondering if I had missed something. I hadn't. I know some people like a book to have an open ending, but for me it was disappointing enough to knock half a Bookbag star off my iniital rating of four-and-a-half stars.
Still, I'm glad I read it. I found it very hard to put down once I had started, and felt somewhat drained by the time I had finished. There was a lot to think about, and I'm sure the story will stay in my mind for some time to come.
Many thanks to the publishers for sending this book.
If you like this kind of novel, I would certainly recommend Giselle Green's other book, Pandora's Box. You might also enjoy My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult or A Small Part of Me by Noelle Harrison.
You can read more book reviews or buy Little Miracles by Giselle Green at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Little Miracles by Giselle Green at Amazon.com.
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