What’s it about?
Zoe and Ollie Morley tried for years to have a baby and couldn’t. They turned to adoption and their dreams came true when they were approved to adopt a little girl from birth. They named her Evie.
Seven years later, the family has moved to Yorkshire and grown in number: a wonderful surprise in the form of baby Ben. As a working mum it’s not easy for Zoe, but life is good.
But then Evie begins to receive letters and gifts.
The sender claims to be her birth father.
He has been looking for his daughter.
And now he is coming to take her back…
More please! I haven’t read the first novel Bone to Bone by Sanjida Kay but I plan to go back and read that one in the future as well. The Stolen Child was a story that seriously kept me hooked, made me take a million guesses and still managed to surprise me in the end.
The Stolen Child starts with Zoe and Ollie’s high anticipation to seeing Evie for the first time, the little wonder they’d been waiting for and were able to adopt. Their bliss and love for her is springing from the pages. Seven years later there’s also little Ben who was their own little miracle and their family is complete. They move from London to Ilkley and all would be well if Ollie wasn’t so absent. Zoe has to raise the children almost single-handedly and is often angry at her husband for leaving her alone struggling to manage the household, the children and her painting.
On Ben’s second birthday Zoe finds Evie acting weird. She’s wearing a dress she has no memory of buying her and she soon discovers that someone is leaving her presents and cards, signed by her real daddy. Apparently her birth father was able to find her but they have no idea who he is, what he looks like, and when they talk to Evie about it, she claims to have never met him but it’s clear that he already has her into his grip. Through little snippets I was also painfully aware that her father is watching them and biding his time. Then she goes missing… a parent’s worst nightmare!
There were plenty of red herrings in this novel… and quite a few suspects who could be her father. Was it teacher Jack, family friend Andy, fellow artist and sculptor Haris who she came to know really well in the last weeks, or is even her husband Ollie to be suspected? I kept rotating these names in my head and each and every one of them seemed to be lying or hiding something. I dismissed them one by one but then something made me wonder and put them under suspicion again.. I wasn’t sure of anything or anyone in the end. It was wonderful to finally discover who it was!
This novel was a joy to read, it was well-written and had a carefully crafted plotline wih everyone acting as a suspect and with possible motive. Every time something was revealed I felt it was too convenient and too easy for that person to be the father and abductor. I was going slightly bazonkers (to put it mildly haha) being so clueless until the end.
My only misgiving was that Evie wasn’t a very likeable child and I found her reactions strange towards her being adopted. She might be curious about her real daddy but just to dismiss her family that she’s known for 7 years, while they love her so much, felt euhm a bit unrealistic.
A very recommended read if you want to take part in a little guessing game. This one will have you racing to the end to find out!
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher, Corvus, in exchange for my honest opinion.