Saturday, 4 January 2014

Review of The Son-in-Law by Charity Norman

I devoured this book in two days and enjoyed every minute.  It certainly twists with your emotions and upon finishing I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

The opening chapter is an emergency call made by a young girl whose just witnessed her mother being hit by her father which has resulted in her mother laying lifeless on the floor.  Despite the precise instructions relayed by the telephone operator on life saving procedures the attempts are in vain and Zoe loses her life.

We move onto meet Joseph as he leaves prison after three years in prison for the manslaughter of his wife.  The first thing to do on his agenda is to meet with his solicitor to arrange contact with his children. 

Then we meet Hannah and Frederick Wilde, the children's grandparents, the people with sole responsibility of the care of three young children. Three young children that have lost their mother.  The are horrified to find out about Joseph's release and even more so about his plans for the children.

This cleverly crafted book twists and turns and shows the sorrowful story through the eyes of each character.  We see the anguish and torment of the children.  After their terrible ordeal they are plagued in their own ways yet despite this they are strong, thoughtful and well rounded little children.  We see the anger and hatred of the grandparents and we see the turn of events through the eyes of Joseph, the bad guy. But everything is not at it seems.

The court room battles that ensue are a time of huge stress, anxiety and worry for all parties.  A judge has the power to change and ruin lives in an instant.  He alone makes the final decision on the right thing to do for the children leaving people powerless over their own lives. But is it the right decision?

This book really makes you think.  You can't help but be emotionally involved with every character.  As you get to know Joseph, although your instinct tells you he is a murderer and deserves no sympathy, your heart also starts to melt for him, making you question your own initial judgements.  Yes he did the unthinkable but the fact is everyone has a breaking point and sometimes things do just get out of control.

Would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to embark on an emotional roller coaster of a read.

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