Book Review

Book Review: The Child

The Child by Fiona Barton

This is the second book by Fiona Barton that I have read!

A skeleton of a baby is found buried in an area where a construction crew is working on in London. Reporter, Kate Waters, starts investigating, trying to figure out who the baby is and what happened. There are two women in deep pain, Angela and Emma. Forty years ago, Angela’s infant daughter Alice was stolen from the hospital as Angela went to take a much needed shower. And so anytime a dead baby is discovered, Angela follows up with the police to see if it’s her Alice. Emma has a secret that she has never told anyone, not even her husband. Emma is sure that the dead baby is hers and she is waiting for the police to come and arrest her.

The themes I saw:

A mother’s love for her child –

Angela loved her daughter, Alice even though she was with her for a very short time after she was born. The contrast is Jude’s relationship with her daughter, Emma. Emma can’t tell that her mother loves her because her mom always picks her boyfriends over her daughter.

Victim blaming –

The police blame Angela for leaving her baby unattended while she went to take a shower. Angela is the victim and the jerk who stole Angela’s baby is the only one to blame.

Will blames Emma for “tempting him”. Disgusting! Emma was a child and Will was a grown man. As a grown man it was Will’s responsibility to not look at a child in a sexual way and to definitely not act on that impulse!

Emma blames herself for getting pregnant even though she never wanted to have sex that first time that led to her pregnancy. And so Emma hid her pregnancy then gave birth alone in her bathtub. That must have been so scary and painful for her!

Motherhood –

Being a good mother isn’t something that a woman is born with and the moment she has a child – BOOM – she becomes a good mother. It is a skill that a mother works on. Jude should never have been a mother, she wanted to focus on keeping her man happy; which would have been fine but there was a child in the picture.

I cried at the end of the book! It was sad but it left me feeling good and hopeful since the ending was a happy one! Let me know what you thought.

Book Review

Book Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Book Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Written by Ruth Ware

Harriet “Hal” Westaway is a 21 year old college dropout trying to make enough money to afford to pay for her apartment, pay off her loan shark and to eat. Hal took over her mom’s tarot reading booth on Brighton Beach. Hal’s mom (named Maggie) died three years ago after she was hit by a car in front of their apartment and the person left the scene.

Hal is really struggling financially and she sees no way out. One day she receives a letter from a lawyer named Mr. Treswick. In the letter Mr. Treswick tells Hal that her grandmother (Mrs. Westaway) recently passed away and left Hal some money so Hal should go there for the reading of the will. Hal believes that the letter was not meant for her but she decides to play along so that she can get a little money to help with her debt.

When the will is read, Mrs. Westaway’s grandchildren and maid are given money and the rest of the estate is given to Hal! Mrs. Westaway left nothing for her sons – Abel, Ezra and Harding. Abel is gay and his partner is Edward Ashby so Mrs. Westaway disowned him years ago and he was not surprised that he got nothing in the will.
Mrs. Westaway had a daughter named Maud (she’s also Ezra’s twin sister) who left years ago and no one knows where she is. It is important to note that Hal does not know who her father is.

Themes I saw:

Family shame – Mrs. Westaway locked Maggie up when she found out that she was pregnant. This was done in the hopes that Maggie would tell her who the baby’s father was. The pregnancy was the shame.

Friendship – Maggie and Maud are good friends and runaway together so that they can have a good life away from Mrs. Westaway.

Love – Maud loved her friend Maggie so later on when Maggie does not come back, Maud raises Maggie’s daughter as her own.
Mrs. Warren the housekeeper loved Ezra. She never told on him for the murder.
Mrs. Westaway loved her son Ezra and never turned him in.

Self-preservation – Hal found an opportunity to make some money by inheriting some money and she ran to take it. Ezra killed Maggie because she came back asking for money to raise his infant daughter. Ezra then kills Maud so she will not tell Hal that Ezra is her dad and that she suspects that Ezra killed her mom (Maggie). Ezra attempts to kill Hal because she was figuring out the truth and he kills Mrs. Warren because she knows most of the truth even though she (Mrs. Warren) would never have told anyone.

I think that Mrs. Westaway wanted to do the right thing by her daughter but still not hurt her most beloved son so she left all her money to Hal. Also, family secrets cause so much pain and they have to be addressed in order for healing to finally start – which is what ends up happening in this book.

All in all – I loved this book because in the end Ha’s situation is better than she started which I absolutely love!!!!