My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
ABOUT THE BOOK
Zoe and Ollie Morley tried for years to have a baby and couldn’t. They turned to adoption and their dreams came true when they were approved to adopt a little girl from birth. They named her Evie.
Seven years later, the family has moved to Yorkshire and grown in number: a wonderful surprise in the form of baby Ben. As a working mum it’s not easy for Zoe, but life is good.
But then Evie begins to receive letters and gifts. The sender claims to be her birth father. He has been looking for his daughter. And now he is coming to take her back…
WHAT I THOUGHT
What an emotional first few pages. The rollercoaster of a ride that Zoe and Ollie have gone through on their parenting journey, and being blessed with Evie (followed by Ben a few years later!), is a dream come true for them. Infertility is a topic that is discussed widely these days as people no longer shy away from it, so to see an insight into adoption is pleasing and it makes you wonder how can something so beautiful, go so horribly wrong, as is the case with The Stolen Child?!
I was desperate to love both Zoe and Ollie after all of the problems they have faced to get their happy ever after, but I just couldn’t. This is by no means a negative reflection on Sanjida Kay’s writing as she has created two very complex, powerful characters of whom both show the stresses of parenthood and the effect it can have on an otherwise happy marriage. With Ollie around less and less due to work, Zoe seeks comfort elsewhere in a man named Harris. But is Harris all he is cracked up to be though?!
Following a spate of letters and gifts being sent to Evie from her apparent ‘biological father’, Evie is abducted from her school whilst Zoe and Ollie are in hospital with Ben, their young son. My heart was in my mouth when I read the paragraphs of Ben nearly dying – was he poisoned on purpose(?!) – followed by Zoe discovering that Evie is missing. Both distressing scenes happen very close together which sounds quite dramatic but it works really well.
Sanjida writes the most perfect settings, descriptive, atmospheric and makes you feel that you are right there in the scene. The plot is cleverly constructed with a handful of red herrings which raises the paranoia stakes, whereby practically everyone becomes a suspect.
Zoe, to put it plainly, is a mother who wants her daughter back. The desperation we see when the police don’t seem to be getting anywhere, inevitably leads to Zoe taking matters into her own hands and go looking for Evie herself. What we see is a twisty, turny, dramatic journey of a mother in pursuit of her daughter with one OMG moment at the end!
This is excellent work from Sanjida Kay in what is an impeccable, well thought-out, suspenseful novel, and I would like to thank Corvus Publishers for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review. The Stolen Child is already out on e-book, however you will be able to buy the paperback (if that’s what you prefer!) from the 7th September.
My final word: Atmospheric.