Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Other Daughter - by Shalini Boland

© Shalini Boland | Bookouture
Pre-Order at Amazon
Release Date: 11/5/19
Let me start off by saying, wow, just wow! 5/5 stars rating for sure! I'd have rated it even higher if I could! As the tagline states, this was truly, "an addictive psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist"!

Every parent's worst nightmare, child abduction- that's where our story starts. Initially, I was intrigued by the story's synopsis: an almost-three-year-old, Holly, taken from a mall play place as her mother sat nearby with her baby sister in tow, drinking coffee and catching up with a friend. Honestly, it was hard not to relate to the assumed excitement that the mother, Rachel, must have been feeling to finally get out of the house and talk to another adult, to actually be able to enjoy hot coffee knowing that her little one was right nearby and within eyeshot, happily entertaining herself. Who would've thought that what should have been a happy little outing would end up becoming the defining moment forever changing their lives?

Curiously, instead of reading an account of these terrible events as told from the mother, the first chapter introduces us to a version of events written from the abductor's point of view, told in chapters labeled "then". This choice of narrative ups the creep factor, the fear even more - at just how easily this kidnapper, Catriona, lures little Holly away from her mother and into a whole new life. At this point, I became even more absorbed by figuring out how everything would come together in the end.

As the story progressess the reader is taken on a journey, from "Then" to "Now", as told years later amidst the possibility that Holly has returned when a new family moves into town with a daughter strikingly similar to her own lost eldest child. The "Now" anecdote goes to show just how far this mother would go to prove her daughter has returned, and of course, get her back.

Just when I came to terms with the way the story was unfolding and thought that I could guess the ending, boom! That's the exact moment when the author so cleverly decided to redirect us through our next turn of events, a new development leaving us guessing all over again. Through all of the twists and turns though, I never once suspected "The Other Daughter" would've ended as it did!

I enjoyed the suspense and the psychological aspect, the story's "Then" and "Now" perspectives, the character development and pretty much everything about this story. Usually, when I read a story there will be positive points and negative ones, perhaps more of one than the other depending on the content. However, when it came to "The Other Child" I honestly couldn't find anything negative to report. Now that's saying something!

In the end, I succumbed to the overwhelming need to hug my children tight and be happy that this was just a story - similarly to waking up from a nightmare and reassuring yourself that it was only a dream...

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and the author Shalini Boland for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

I just reviewed The Other Daughter by Shalini Boland. #TheOtherDaughter #NetGalley

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