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Genes Book Club - This Child of Mine reviews

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Pammy51

Pammy51 Report 5 Dec 2013 16:40


I was interested to learn this book concerned people with synaesthesia as I had seen a programme about an artist with this some time ago and it sounded rather a magical thing to have. I had not considered the reverse side, with certain colours linked to bad moods actually making you feel unhappy!
The book was set up well in the beginning, with the contrast between Laura feeling trapped by her pregnancy and Anna desperate for a baby after miscarriages, but I soon felt it was becoming almost a caricature of life. The scenes set in Anna's school were funny but I am sure no teacher would have let the children carry on with the conversations they were having.
As others have said, I did want to read to the end, and also couldn't believe no action was taken against Anna, even to the end she didn't really understand how awful her action was.

Sylvia

Sylvia Report 17 Nov 2013 23:46

I was very pleased to receive this book as I always have one on the go. It was not a book I would have chosen to buy. At first I thought I would not like it, mainly because of the bad language which I do not like and wondered if it was going to continue throughout the book. I was pleased that was not the case. It was easy to read and I quite enjoyed it as it went on, even though it seemed to easy for Sophie to find out about her real mother and actually get into contact with her. I was disappointed with the ending as I find it hard to believe that it could happen without the police being involved and no action taken against Anna. But then again I do like true stories. I felt sorry for Mandy as she was pushed to one side when Sophie came on the scene. Pleased I read it to the end though. Thank you.

Jillian

Jillian Report 2 Nov 2013 03:24

I was delighted that you sent me a book all the way to New Zealand! It's not my usual read, either, but as you had promised to send anywhere, I thought I'd see if that was true!
I found this book very hard to put down, but I couldn't totally understand why because the characters aren't particularly well-developed and the story line is reasonably predictable. I was waiting for the reveal that Sophie and Hope were born at the same hospital on the same day, but that never happened!
Overall, a fairly light, but nevertheless enjoyable read.

Judith

Judith Report 29 Oct 2013 17:13

Afraid not my type of book. It tries to deal with a very difficult subject but felt it eas lightweight. I nearly didn't finish it but felt obliged to do so. I won't be reading any other novels by sinead moriarty :-(

Winifred

Winifred Report 29 Oct 2013 15:17

This Child of Mine ....review. My book was late arriving here in Cyprus so this review is a bit late

I'll begin by stating that this book is not my preferred genre and I didn't think I'd enjoy it. I thought I'd struggle to finish it but I didn't. I found it both funny and sad, well harrowing at times.
The subject is a very serious one and lots of peoples lives were affected by the main event. Not least of all Sophie/Jody. I had lots of sympathy for Anna even though she had done a dreadful thing, but for what she thought were the right reasons. Joan was very selfish as was her daughter from beginning to end. When Sophie appeared again in her life she completely ignored her youngest daughter. Such was the true character of the woman.
Others have commented about the children and their language at Anna's school. Some reading this perhaps can't believe it to be based on reality but from my own experience of teaching at a school similar to Anna's it surprisingly/sadly is. I felt those sections lightened the storyline which was much needed with the harrowing events that were to come. Ina similar so was the addition of Lexie's character.
The piece with the children in Kilduff I found a totally unnecessary inclusion.

I haven't read anything by this author before and although I thoroughly enjoyed it I won't be looking out for others by her. As I stated earlier this type of novel is not my preferred genre.
I look forward to reviewing other books in this Book Club. Thank you for allowing me to partake

Barbara

Barbara Report 22 Oct 2013 17:59

Having read the basic storyline of this book I thought it would appeal to me, being the mother of two daughters. Although I don't normally read novels, I thought it would make a refreshing change to the factual/auto/biography books that I usually read which it did, and I don't regret having read it. However, I didn't like the constant use of bad language in the earlier chapters and, like other reviewers, I thought there were many gaps that could have been filled. I had never heard of the condition synasthesia and I thought more background information about it could have been incorporated into the story to help the reader understand the affected characters more. Also, like other reviewers, I did feel the actual abduction and what happened to Anna and Sophie in the time immediately afterwards wasn't sufficiently covered in detail and was a little far-fetched and unbelievable that it all happened so easily and smoothly (and possibly illegally?). I found myself sympathising with both Laura and Anna at different times, feeling sorry for them and understanding their emotions and reactions, but then felt annoyed with them on other occasions. It did keep me interested in finding out what happened at the end and I was glad with the way the author brought it to a close but really couldn't have imagined it any other way! Does this make it predictable?

Winifred

Winifred Report 21 Oct 2013 22:16

I live in Cyprus and just received my book today. I will read it this week hopefully get the review done by the weekend. Thank you for sending it. It was a lovely surprise. Mind you I don't normally read girlie books but I'll give it a try.

Andrea

Andrea Report 21 Oct 2013 21:44

Andi53
This Child of Mine is a lightweight book that becomes tedious early on but as it was a gift I felt duty-bound to finish it. I felt it was a very unlikely long term scenario, the main storyline padded out with so much repetition! One hopes Madeline McCann is found before SHE is eighteen and I don't believe Laura wouldn't go straight to the police to have Anna arrested. Would the police really be so complacent in assuming that Jodi drowned just on the evidence of a pair of floating sandals?? Too contrived and annoying. Next please!!

Kellie

Kellie Report 21 Oct 2013 11:30

This Child of Mine

I too like others have never read any books by this author. As I was late in receiving this book I thought I’d best get on and read it, so I begrudgingly put to one side the other book that I was currently reading.

The introduction had me intrigued and I was keen to read on. What I do like about this book is the parallel narrative – keeps it moving along nicely. When I got to about page 87 the penny dropped, and this made me eager to get to the end.

As a mother myself, the character of Laura filled me with anger and I was extremely happy when ‘the incident’ happened. However, I did warm to her slightly towards the end.

I found myself getting a bit bored in the latter stages, and the ending was predictable, as I thought it would be.

It was a nice story, but a bit lacking in description. I probably wouldn’t have picked this to read if I had seen it in the shop, however, I might be tempted to read a different story by this author.

Carole

Carole Report 21 Oct 2013 10:02

I had never before read a book by this author but I intend to see if my library holds any of her other works.
I thought this book was enjoyable with touches of the humour that the Irish seem to have genetically inbuilt in them ( e.g. the incident of the Postman). On reading I swayed from feeling the birth mother was most in the wrong to feeling most compassion for her .
Well presented story - as a Marion Keyes reader it kept me enthralled.

HelenW64

HelenW64 Report 20 Oct 2013 19:08

I thought the book was a light easy read. The subjects were serious but on the whole glossed over - surely there would have been some sort of investigation regarding an abducted child, this was skipped over a little too lightly. The nature / nurture debate could have been explored but it was just presented that happy child with loving mother was going to be perfect. There was not enough contrast between the sisters, they had very different upbringings, one all happy and supportive, the other in a tense blame culture yet both are presented as mature and well balanced who on the whole bond very quickly despite the disruption. I enjoyed the story but I was disappointed that serious topics were treated so lightly. I probably won't rush to read anything else by this author.

Maureen

Maureen Report 20 Oct 2013 19:03

This Child of Mine by Sinead Moriarty..........

Initially I thought this book would never draw me in. Who was the reader target? Surely, not me, or so I thought. Just mediocre in its content and a story which probably could have a reveal on The Jeremy Kyle Show. Little did I know that the more I read, the more enticed I would became - a bit like prey to a spider's web, once hooked, I didn't want to put it down. It speaks volumes about love in all its many guises, especially a mother's love. I don't know whether it was just me, being a bit of a softie but some moments touched the core of my being and I felt a tear or two run down my face. A triumph of love over adversities.
Would I recommend it as a light but intriguing read?.....Absolutely. Am I passing it on for someone else to read? Not yet, I want to read it again to see if Sinead Moriarty's words can evoke the pain and the love I encountered as I turned the pages the first time. Have I been known to read a book a second time? Rarely.
If you are a mother and fail to be moved by some of the narrative, I'd be surprised.

Susan10146857

Susan10146857 Report 18 Oct 2013 20:58

I am afraid I too lost interest half way through.

Do I live in a different world? Maybe, but I cannot come to terms with the fact that children were portrayed as all swearing little monsters and never reprimanded. Are we to believe this is the norm or is it just in particular areas? does anyone else think that maybe the author added the scenes as shock tactics to spice up the book. I expect someone will tell me that I live in a different world and that these things do happen. If so I am glad my little world is bereft of such goings on.

The story line, to me was nothing spectacular, with a few shocks thrown in to spice it up a bit.

Linda

Linda Report 18 Oct 2013 12:02

This is not usually the type of book I read but I thought I would give it a go.

In the first few pages I laughed out loud and cried. The book is well written and the first half is really good then the story seems to trail off. I agree with other posts that it felt as it was a more of a filling the final pages with words rather than continuing the story, a run our of ideas moment.

Both mothers appear to have been overcompensating for problems in their own lives which effected the ability for their children to develop confidence and Independence, its affected them and possibly their future relationships.
I can't have been easy for them.

I know this is fiction but am trying to write my comments as it has some truth, as requested.
:-S :

Unknown

Unknown Report 16 Oct 2013 08:49

I have just finished this book. Sinead Moriarty was a new author for me. Since this is the first book in the Genes Reunited Book Club I wasn't surprised by the subject matter of the book and I tried to keep that in mind while I was reading. If I were to review this book in general terms I would have to say that I found the writing almost amateurish in places and there was an inevitability and predictability about the way events unfolded. But if one was to review in terms of genealogy it throws up some interesting points, The first big issue was that I didn't think a funeral could take place without a death certificate and Hope's does. Despite the fact that Laura and her family believe Jody to be dead without a body they would not have been able to obtain a death certificate either so we have two birth certs and no death certs. We know that Anna used Hope's birth certificate for Sophie's passport and this throws up some interesting considerations regarding identity theft because, as well as abduction, identity theft would be another crime of Anna's!!
Overall the book has its flaws; the characters served their purposes within the narrative but I never felt I really got to know them. And the characterisations were inconsistent. It's nice to think that people can change and develop through life and all the traumas it throws at us but I found the younger Laura as unbelievable as the older one and as for Lexie!! Leopard. Spots. Change? It all felt contrived. But having said all that I did read it all and I certainly didn't hate it. But I doubt I will be seeking out more of Ms Moriarty's books.

Lesley

Lesley Report 15 Oct 2013 15:31

This Child of Mine – Sinead Moriarty.
Finished the book! I am glad that I persisted as it became much more engaging after the first disappointing 100 pages. The book examined the struggle with her allegiances and emotions the protagonist Sophie/Jody had when she discovered that she had two mothers; neither of them perfect. Whilst reading, I found that I was examining the rights and wrongs of both women’s actions. Both were fallible and had failed their daughter in many different ways, but both had been instrumental in producing the angel that was Sophie/Jody. Anna recognises this when she says, “...life isn’t black and white, Sophie. It is mostly grey....” (Maybe a good thing given that two of the characters suffered from synaesthesia).
The male characters, Joe, Frank (as an adult) and David were credible as was the grandmother Joan. Lexie changed from being a caricature and completely unbelievable East End London “wag” to someone exhibiting the Wisdom of Solomon. Can someone have such sense yet behave in such a ridiculous way? Mandy shared some of this wisdom towards the end but earlier in the book was the Irish equivalent of the London Holly who remained a caricature of a teenager obsessed with sex throughout.
What a shame that the book contained the sections on school age children and their parents discussing sex in an unlikely manner. It could have been strong without these sections which in my opinion added nothing, and possibly even detracted from the important issues the book was really concerned about. And remembering that this book is written about a child who was abducted, why were the children in Killduf discussing their parents’ sexual habits with this odd stranger? Their mother had told them not to talk to strangers but there they were having a lengthy conversation with Anna (a stranger) about sexual matters. And where was their mother? I think that it would have been much better if the mother had immediately prised them away from Anna (who was already feeling wretched about what she had done) and told them not to talk to strangers.

P.S. Apologies. The ferry went to Holyhead! Still a long way from Putney.

Jacqueline

Jacqueline Report 10 Oct 2013 19:22

I live in Alberta Canada and just received my book this morning. Very nice surprise! looking forward to reading it. Will post my reviews when I finish.

Mike *

Mike * Report 8 Oct 2013 10:09

I think you would need to be a mother ( or at least have daughters) to appreciate this book fully.

I found the characters reflected today's society which is sad.
Not a "pleasant" read but easy enough to follow.

Have to admit I slightly lost interest half way through.

Susan

Susan Report 7 Oct 2013 15:59

This Child of Mine - an interesting and unusual story which I enjoyed over all. However I do agree with others that say most of the characters had no real depth to them. The mothers and grandmother were all selfish in their way, and made me feel sorry for the daughters.
I also had thought the same as Lesley about the death certificate and the journey from Liverpool to London, they were conveniently skipped over.

Lesley

Lesley Report 7 Oct 2013 15:08

This Child of Mine.
I had not read a book by Sinead Moriaty before, but having read on the cover that this was a successful author of several best sellers, I was enthusiastic about starting her new book. After reading the first few pages already I had decided that I was not going to be so eager to read another in the near future. I have struggled through one hundred pages so far and will continue to struggle, always hoping that the book might improve (but my doubts grow as each page is turned). I have found the characters unconvincing and unlikely; and the dialogue clumsy and unrealistic. The school scenes and the rugby player scenes are completely unbelievable. I am sure that in a sink school the pupils and their parents would not have the conversations described in this book. Rugby players might be big, strong and at times boisterous, but whatever they do get up to, they do not have the conversations with girls described in this book.
Am I wrong in thinking that a body cannot be buried without the evidence of a death certificate? Is this the big flaw in the story or was this error just necessary for the rest of the plot? And was a child seat necessary, indeed compulsory in 1992? I am sure it was. Jody was a terribly responsive 19 month old, having seen several toddlers of this age in the last few days, none of them would have behaved as she did on that boat. I look forward to my next reading session to learn just how the child was kept quiet in the car trip from Liverpool to London. (Readers who take their children on long car journeys might learn the knack of keeping a child under control and amused without a car seat, nappies or any of the other items which fill the boot but are necessary for childcare). Maybe I will find out that the characters are all thrown in prison for their misdemeanours on the ferry crossing! An incentive to continue reading this book maybe?
Avid Reader