14 April 2022
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book
and to Random Things Tours for the invitation to the tour
Eighteen-year-old Emma has loving parents and a promising future ahead of her. So why, one morning, does she leave home without a trace? Her parents, Cath and Jim, are devastated. They have no idea why Emma left, where she is - or even whether she is still alive. A year later, Cath and Jim are still tormented by the unanswered questions Emma left behind and clinging desperately to the hope of finding her.
Meanwhile, tantalisingly close to home, Emma is also struggling with her new existence - and with the trauma that shattered her life.
For all of them, reconciliation seems an impossible dream. Does the way forward lie in facing up to the secrets of the past - secrets that have been hidden for years? Secrets that have the power to heal them, or to destroy their family forever ...
The Shadow Child is a book of hope and reconciliation, of coming to terms with trauma and learning to love again. Most of all, it’s about how you can never quite escape from the shadows of your past - especially when one of those shadows is a child.
📖 My Review ...
When eighteen year old Emma leaves her comfortable home, her parents, Cath and Jim, struggle to come to terms with her disappearance. A year on after her disappearance and with no clue as to whether Emma is still alive, both Cath and Jim are struggling to cope, retreating into themselves where the hurt lingers and festers in the shadows. When Nick and Lara take over as tenants of their rented property Cath is inexorably drawn toward Lara and starts to become her confidante much to the detriment of Lara's relationship with Nick.
This is an interesting look at the effects of devastating loss and the associated trauma of guilt issues which have been unresolved for far too long. We start to see cracks appearing in both these marriages but none more poignant than that between Cath and Jim who have had more than their fair share of anguish over the years. The story moves slowly, which I think is quite deliberate, as it allows the setting of the story to appear quite intimate and gives an insight into the minutiae of life with both couples. The added mystery of what has happened to Emma runs like a thread throughout the novel and I enjoyed wondering how all this would eventually play out.
The Shadow Child is a sensitive portray of love, loss and those sad secrets which have been hidden away in the shadows for far to long.
📖 Best read with ...a comforting cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit
About the Author
RACHEL HANCOX read Medicine and Social and Political Science at Cambridge, qualified as a doctor three months after getting married, and has juggled her family, her career and a passion for writing ever since. She worked in Paediatrics and Public Health for twenty years, writing short stories alongside NHS policy reports, and drafting novels during successive bouts of maternity leave. Rachel has five children, three dogs and a cat. She lives in Oxford with her husband and youngest children.
Twitter #RachelHancox #The ShadowChild