I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Mine by Clare Empson
Published by Orion Publishing Group on August 22, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Crime, Psychological
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
'A beautifully told stroy about the raw pain and ecstasy of motherhood. I loved it.' Jane Corry
'I adored this powerful, emotive and sensitively written story about love and loss/' Louise Jensen
'Haunting and heart-rending ... a beautifully told story' Victoria Selman
'Who am I? Why am I here? Why did my mother give me away?'
On the surface, Luke and his girlfriend Hannah seem to have a perfect life. He's an A&R man, she's an arts correspondent and they are devoted to their new-born son Samuel.
But beneath the gloss Luke has always felt like an outsider. So when he finds his birth mother Alice, the instant connection with her is a little like falling in love.
When Hannah goes back to work, Luke asks Alice to look after their son. But Alice - fuelled with grief from when her baby was taken from her 27 years ago - starts to fall in love with Samuel. And Luke won't settle for his mother pushing him aside once again...
* * * * *
Why real readers love this emotionally gripping story by the author of HIM:
'Read it, read it, read it. One of my books of the year, without a doubt.' Goodreads reviewer
'Beautiful, haunting, emotional, and totally addictive.' Goodreads reviewer
'A realistic, character driven, highly-emotional and addictive read.' Goodreads reviewer
'Be warned: this novel will take over your life while you are reading it.' Goodreads reviewer
Mine deals with sensitive issues and really breathes life into the saying that your past is never really in your past. We are all a result of our upbringings. Memories. The laughter. Endless tears. It is all an echo that rings in the lost memories of our childhood. It is useless to try and outrun the fears that revisiting the past can open back up. You can lace up those trainers and try to get ahead of it, but it’s going to catch up with you eventually.
Mine is the story of Luke and his wife, Hannah. Together they have a son, Samuel. The novel examines the reawakening that occurs in Luke. The birth of his son has brought old scars back into the Frey. His past ghosts now inhabit his consciousness. He believed that he had moved on but now he is wrecked with thoughts about his birth mother. Every shadow and corner brings him back full circle – wondering about where he came from. It makes you wonder about the other side of the coin – how does the parent, especially the mother, move on from such an action? He meets his mother, Alice, now aged 47. A very attractive woman by all means who gave Luke up when he was only a few weeks old. She was an aspiring artist and now paints portraits of pets. Was it really worth it? Luke doesn’t gain much of a reason for why he was given up for adoption.
Mine certainly has a raw undercurrent of a melancholy tune. It is sadness for years lost. For an emptiness. The writing was magnetic. I was pulled towards it from the very first page. It was addictive and squeezed at my heart, especially as a mother. I don’t think I would have every fully moved on from that.
Alice was a deeply frustrating character for me. She was given the opportunity that doesn’t always come knocking for birth parents. He she has her baby boy back in front of her and she doesn’t grasp on to him with both hands. He represents a new life. A renewed future. A second chance. Instead he is greeted with this cold, standoffish persona. She never lets him in and I just want to grab her and shake her, make her realise just what an opportunity she has. As the story progresses we are afforded the details of why and you slowly come around to the idea that yes maybe she had her reasons, maybe even sympathise with her.
The story moves forward with Hannah returning to work. Try as they might, they cannot find a suitable Au Pair to look after their son. After seeing Alice bond with Samuel, it is suggested that this could be a perfect solution. Luke watches and becomes jealous of the relationship between his son and his mother. Can he really trust her with his son? Just how much does he know about her? It is clear to the eye that his issues with abandonment run very deep, he is unsettled but just can’t shake off the feeling.
Mine is successfully layered this novel with the coldness and fear of what abandonment can result in. Clare Empson has created a menacing atmosphere with darkly compelling characters that take up space in your head.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clare Empson worked as a staff writer on national newspapers covering everything from collapsing merchant banks to tea with the late Barbara Cartland (everything pink including the cakes). Eight years ago, she moved to the West Country and founded the arts and lifestyle blog countrycalling.co.uk.
The idyllic setting inspired her first novel, which reveals the darker side of paradise. Clare lives on the Wiltshire/Dorset border with her husband and three children.