- Barbara Copperthwaite
Review: THE SECRET MOTHER, Shalini Boland
'An incredible hook, it’s a real ‘what the heck?’ moment.'
‘Are you my mummy?’ Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children. Not anymore. She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there. After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of taking the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his own… Tessa isn’t sure what to believe or who to trust. Because someone is lying. To find out who, she must confront her painful past. But is the truth more dangerous than Tessa realises?
The opening scene of this book has an incredible hook, it’s a real ‘what the heck?’ moment. It’s skillfully written, and from that moment on I sped through this book, needing to know what on earth was going on.
The main character, Tessa, is really likeable, despite even her wondering if she’s mad, bad, or a little bit of both, as the story unfolds. Her back story, as a grieving mother trying to cope with the loss of her children and her marriage falling apart, is dealt with sympathetically, her pain palpable. But has it pushed her over the edge to do something silly? Something she can’t even remember doing? This tale is truly intriguing, and I raced through it.