The Child I Never Had by Kate Hewitt

Published: February 10, 2022


Pages: 388

Genre: Psychological Literary Fiction

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Kate Hewitt is the bestselling author of many novels of both historical and contemporary fiction. She particularly enjoys writing contemporary issue-driven women’s fiction, and her novels have been called ‘unputdownable’ and ‘the most emotional book I have ever read’ by readers. An American ex-pat, she lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five young(ish) children, along with their two Golden Retrievers.

I remember the moment I handed her to Suzanne, wrapped in a soft pink blanket. I’d wept while I’d put it around her and she’d blinked up at me with her big blue eyes. The moment she left my arms I wanted to cry out. Suzanne had tears in her eyes as she took hold of my daughter. “Thank you,” she whispered.

It’s a warm early summer’s evening when Mia’s doorbell rings unexpectedly. She opens the door to see the silhouette of a teenage girl standing in the shadow beyond the porch light—and in an instant she realises who it is. Daisy, the daughter she gave up as a baby. Daisy steps forward, trembling as she says “I’m sorry I didn’t call first. But something happened. And I really needed… you.”

Seventeen years before, knowing she couldn’t possibly give her beautiful little girl Daisy the future she deserved, Mia made the hardest decision of her life—to give her up. And Suzanne seemed the perfect adoptive mother: calm, stable, and full of love for the daughter she’d always dreamed of having.

The two mothers promised to keep communication open, so Daisy could have Mia’s love and support along with Suzanne’s. But as the years passed, those visits happened less and less, and now Daisy seems almost like a stranger to Mia.

But she has arrived on Mia’s doorstep, and she says she has a terrible secret. And she believes the only person who can help her is Mia. Her birth mother.

Mia, however, has secrets of her own. Ones she is afraid to let Daisy or anyone else know. And while Suzanne desperately seeks a way back to her estranged child, can Mia overcome her past to help the girl they both call their daughter in her darkest hour?

“What, I wonder, do I not know about?”

Mia made an impossible decision to give her baby up for adoption. She knows she can’t provide the life a child deserves right now, seeing as she is still in college and has nothing of her own. Suzanne has always wanted to be a mom, but sadly it wasn’t in the cards for her and Mark, which make the gift Mia gives them so precious. Suzanne, eager and desperate to be a mother, quickly agrees to Mia’s last-minute request they have an open adoption. These women did not realize just how much they would need or understand each other.

Whew. This was a very emotional novel, from page one. I loved the characters, the plot, and the obvious research that went into creating this story.

Mia was carefully crafted. I think her inner emotional journey was so striking and intense that her feelings were so genuinely described.

Suzanne was a strong, albeit, reserved character. But she stole my heart. My heart ached for her struggles and her journey of discovery. She was such a vivid and honest character.

Mark and Tom were decent partners, though they tend to take the backseat approach to most things. I did enjoy them as supporting characters.

Daisy was a complicated character. She was bold, bright, and sullen. I struggled to like her at times, but I also understood her emotional journey and why she felt the way she did.

The emotions in this book are so raw, and I appreciated that both sides of every situation were presented. It made the story feel more authentic and provided such a powerful punch to a situation that so many will never understand.

This was a beautiful, heart-wrenching, at times overwhelming novel about truth, forgiveness, and family. Beautifully written, respectfully presented, and uttering captivating.

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