Wednesday, 27 November 2013

This Child of Mine Reviews and Interview

This Child of MineThis Child of Mine by Sinéad Moriarty
Book Synopsis
Anna and Laura, Sophie and Mandy - two mothers, two daughters and a story about the bond of motherly love.

Anna is proud of the job she has done raising eighteen-year-old Sophie. It's always been just the two of them, but that doesn't matter because Sophie has everything she could ever need.

It's a miracle that Laura's daughter Mandy is as happy as she is, considering that Laura remains haunted by the loss of her first child before Mandy was born.

Both women carry painful secrets and can never forget the day their paths crossed. But a chance discovery is about to bring everything into the open, and mothers and daughters, love and lies, past and future, will spectacularly collide . .

Shona's review 4 of 5 stars

In the beginning of the book I was fairly sympathetic to both Anna and Laura, these women are complete opposites... 
Anna is approaching her 40's and has spent so long trying to have a baby and living through the heartache of multiple miscarriages, the loss of her mother and the end of her marriage, she suffers immeasurably. It's easy to feel sorry for her, have your heart break for her loss and pain.
Laura is 19, still reeling from the death of her father and as a result she loses her way. She loses herself in drinking and finds herself pregnant with no father in the picture. She makes the decision to have a termination, but her mother insists she have the baby. Laura feels trapped, forced to raise a child she hadn't planned, cut off from her friends and the live she thinks she should be living. While I may not have made the same choices as she did I found it easy to sympathise with Laura. 

Once you start reading the book you realise very quickly the direction the book is going to take. And it was at this point that my sympathy for Anna disappeared, and despite the fact that I had on more than one occasion wanted to slap Laura (yes I was sympathetic to her, doesn't mean I agreed with all her choices) my heart broke completely for her for the first time in this book. As the story progressed I found myself getting increasingly angrier towards Anna. There's no denying that Laura was a terrible mum, and I myself have said in the past that people like that do not deserve to have children, but to do what Anna did was so beyond wrong. Throughout the book I continued to think 'it's no less than what you deserve'. Though I did soften towards her a little nearer the end.

While I may not have liked all of the characters all of the time, they felt real. They were well written, even the secondary characters. Moriarty has given us a well written story that doesn't feel all fluffy, this book is a train wreck of emotions. I myself was in tears on more than one occasion. This was in fact my first Moriarty book and I look forward to reading more of her work

Lisa's review - 5 out of 5 stars

I have never read a book by Sinead Moriarty before, but after This Child Of Mine, I'll definitely be checking out some more!

This Child of Mine is a story about two mothers, two daughters and the collision of their lives.
Anna, a middle aged woman who longs for a child but suffered multiple miscarriages, and the tragic death of her new born daughter. She gives up everything in her life to start a completely fresh life in London.
Laura, a teenage girl who spirals out of control after the death of her father. She then faces life as a single mum when she finds herself pregnant, and having to raise a daughter she didn't want.

I loved the backstory that started this book off, the schoolchildren that Anna taught had me in laughter even though I should have been horrified! Going through the lives of two very different women and eventually seeing them come to deal with the consequences of decisions, right and wrong, earlier in their lives was so well written, it was very realistic. This book isn't just a happy ever after chick lit book, it is hard hitting, realistic, and emotional read.

There were parts of this book that made me laugh, some made me cry, and some made me angry. The actions of Anna were enough to make my blood boil and I found it very hard to be sympathetic towards her. In the end the only reason I did even a little bit was down to Sophie. Up until Anna made the life changing decision she did, she was the character getting all of my sympathy, while I found myself really disliking Laura early on. But it was a great turn in the story and some really well written work that flipped my opinion on the characters completely.

My only complaint about this story was about Sophie. I know she was brought up in a very strict, and almost wrapped-in-cotton-wool life, but I found it pretty hard to believe that any 19 year old girl can be quite that 'good'. There were points in the story, especially when 16 year old Mandy was introduced, that I struggled and forgot that there was almost a 3 year age gap between the two girls, and that Sophie was the older one.

There were a couple of the secondary characters that I adored, and I kind of wished they had their own, separate story because they were funny, real, and just great to read. It seems that if I could sum this book up in one word, it would be realistic, as I just think that it wasn't like reading a girly book, it was almost like reading the memoirs of three women who actually existed.

Hello Sinéad and welcome to Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was inspired by my real life struggle to get pregnant. The Baby Trail is a bitter-sweet comedy based around a couple trying to have their first baby.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I write as I think. It’s very important not to try to imitate anyone else and trust your own voice.

How did you come up with the title?
I have my editor to thank for that.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I really just want the novel to make people pause and think. It’s really about the moral dilemma of ‘would you take a child if you thought its life was in danger’

How much of the book is based on your life experiences?
Thankfully I have no experience of this kind of thing but I have always been fascinated about the Nature versus Nurture debate.

Are your novels based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As I mentioned, my first novel was inspired by events in my own life, but since then I have written about a range of issues that I don’t have personal experience of but that I feel passionately about.

Which of your novels have influenced your life the most?
I think the first one. I got so much out and had so much fun writing it that I think it was very cathartic. I went on to have three children of my own and I always think that writing The Baby Trail brought me luck.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I am in awe of any writer who manages to finish a book. It is a lot harder than it looks.

What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and thoroughly enjoying it.

What are your current projects?
I am finishing up my tenth novel and then I hope to write a play before starting my eleventh novel.

Do you see your writing as a career?
Absolutely! I hope to write until I’m old and grey.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
A writer is never finished editing. There are always things you would change but you have to let it go.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My mother is a writer of children’s books and she was my inspiration growing up.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My current book is about three sisters who are all going through very modern day problems. It’s a funny and moving story about modern life and all of its trials and tribulations

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find the middle section of a book difficult. It’s challenging to keep up the momentum at that point but maintaining pace throughout a book is so important.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
A little but it’s always fun

Who designs your cover(s)?
Penguin, my publishers

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to inject humour into the book but I feel I did manage to in the end.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep at it. Don’t let the knock backs stop you. Believe in yourself.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading and making it possible for me to continue creating stories which is my absolute passion in life.

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