Saturday, February 22, 2014

Reading in 2014 - Second Chances

Second Chances by Charity Norman

Second Chances
'In the quiet of a New Zealand winter's night, a rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy with severe internal injuries. He's fallen from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse, and his condition is critical. 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 happened. And she isn't telling. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
Tragedy isn't what the McNamara family expected when they moved to New Zealand. For Martha, it was an escape. For her artist husband Kit, it was a dream. For their small twin boys, it was an adventure. For sixteen-year-old Sacha, it was the start of a nightmare.
They end up on the isolated east coast of the North Island, seemingly in the middle of a New Zealand tourism campaign. But their peaceful idyll is soon shattered as the choices Sacha makes lead the family down a path which threatens to destroy them all.

Martha finds herself facing a series of impossible decisions, each with devastating consequences for her family.'

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The only reason I couldn't give this one 5 stars is simply because it is a very traumatic read.
Upon finishing it I had to sneak into my child's room and sit there stroking his hair while he slept. How on earth do you keep your child safe? If everything does fall apart then how on earth do you manage your own reactions?

The writing is superb. I read the whole thing in one day but was up to 2.30am to do it. You will immediately want to visit New Zealand to see if it lives up to the promises of the book (it does). There are layers upon layers and the characters are so very real. There are so many families living this exact story every day. I pray that I am never one of them.

Comparisons to Jodie Picoult are inevitable and the themes are very similar to Picoult's The Tenth Circle but Charity Norman does not have the religious tones of Picoult's work and based on this one novel I believe Norman is a stronger writer.I am interested to read more of her work but will wait for this one to fade first.

Read it with tissues handy and only if you are in a positive state of mind as it will linger long after closing the cover on the last page.

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