Wednesday, February 6, 2019

REVIEW of The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: February 5th 2019 by Gallery Books

In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you? 

My Thoughts…

A mother willing to go to the ends of the world for her daughter, even though her daughter is brain dead, pregnant, and going to die.   I think many mothers (and fathers) would feel the same way.   The need to know why she ended up the way she is becomes so strong that it takes on its own life.  

Abi finds help in Anthony and starts asking questions, following leads, and making waves with people who’d rather be left out of the entire thing.    There were times that I wondered if Abi had bitten off more than she could handle but she was so strong, so determined, and so unwilling to be pushed off the trail.   I loved that she didn’t give up, she didn’t let it go, and she didn’t take everyone for their word.    She questioned, she pushed, and she pulled at each small hint of what happen and was soon unraveling the entire story.     I wondered if I could be so strong when facing the loss of my daughter and hoped that I would never have to find out.  

Christina McDonald did an amazing job of keeping the teenagers as teenagers.   They hid things from their parents, gossiped about each other to their friends, snuck out and misbehaved just as real teenagers did.  Yes, some of the teenagers were mean people but that is the high school life and I loved that she didn’t make them all pretty and perfect.     The adults in the story were also real.   They were wanting to protect their kids, themselves, and distance themselves from the horror of having a brain dead, pregnant daughter.    

This is a great book.   I picked it up, kept going back to it, and even now after finishing it I can’t let it go.     I continue to think about the story, wonder how many parents have found themselves in similar positions and thankful that my teenagers are healthy, happy, and alive.    

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