10 January, 2015

Book Review: Second Chances

From Allen & Unwin: In the quiet of a winter's night, the rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy with severe internal injuries. He's fallen from the upstairs verandah of an isolated farmhouse, and may not last the next few hours.
At first, Finn's fall looks like a horrible accident; after all, he's prone to sleepwalking. Only his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it really happened. And she isn't telling. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
Martha only wants the best for her family. That's why she moved heaven and earth to move them to the other side of the world, to start their lives afresh. And now she's faced with decisions she never dreamed she'd have to make, decisions with potentially devastating consequences. She's torn between her loyalty to her family and her need to protect them.
What do you do when your dream escape turns into a nightmare - and is there ever a way back?

Thoughts: Martha is trying to do what is best for her family - the problem is, like most families, there is no one answer that suits all. A move to New Zealand appears to be a lifesaver for her husband Kit and the twin boys are thriving. For teen daughter Sacha however it's a lot harder.
This book raises a lot of questions. What do you do when something is so good for the majority, but possibly destructive for one? How far do you go to protect those you love? At which point does the job of making sure the whole family happy fall to one person?
I won't say this is brilliantly written - it's clunky in parts, but in others the emotion is raw and breathtaking. Norman does a great job of portraying the vastness of space in New Zealand after the more cramped atmosphere of London. The story keeps moving and while I thought I'd guess what had happened within the first page, I was very quickly humbled into admitting I was wrong and trying to untangle the knot surrounding the McNamara family. The ending was a bit twee for me, but that is the way of books in this vein - a happy ending must be. Good solid chick lit.

Second Chances gets 3 stars.

*        Did not like it
**       It was OK
***      Liked it
****    Really liked it
*****   It was amazing

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