Close My Eyes Paperback by Sophie McKenzie

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Helllllllo readers and happy Thursday – it’s an odd day of the week for me because it’s so close to the weekend but still so far away. It’s been an interesting week – a lot of ups and downs and still trying to slowly get through this quarter life crisis. I’m currently using the excuse of not yet passing my driving test but I’m getting closer and closer to passing and then I have to start making life decisions – like nuh-uh, still not ready. For now imma going to ignore all of that and bring you a review – enjoy bookworms.

It’s been eight years since Gen Loxley lost her daughter, Beth: eight years of grief in which nothing’s really moved forward, for all that her husband, Art, wills it to. Gen, once a writer of novels, has settled in to a life of half-hearted teaching, while Art makes his name and their fortune – and pressures her into trying IVF once again. For Gen, it seems a cruel act of replacement; life without Beth is unthinkable, unbearable – but still it goes on. And then a woman arrives on Gen’s doorstep, saying the very thing she longs to hear: that her daughter was not stillborn, but was spirited away as a healthy child, and is out there, waiting to be found…So why is Art reluctant to get involved? To save his wife from further hurt? Or something much more sinister? What is the truth about Beth Loxley?

As the blurb suggests the book follows the life of Gen and Art who terribly lost their little girl when she was born stillborn; something that Gen is yet to recover from. As Art moves on with his life Gen is trapped in the grief of her daughter’s death – however when a lady arrives on her doorstep tell her, her sister was there at the birth and the little girl was fine alarm bells start ringing. As Gen starts to dig into the history of the birth, her life is turned upside down as she struggles to come to terms with the fact her baby may be alive – is Art involved? How could the doctor have orchestrated anything like that? What did happen the day her daughter was born – read le book to find out.

Did I like this book? Difficult question – it did at the start pull me in, Gen is written with gusto and understanding although quite a tiring character at the beginning she begins to grow with every page turn – gutsy and determined she really grew on me as a character. Art is also really well written – mysterious, a total gentleman but quick to act he really gave this book strength and helped to cement my interest. In terms of plot the book the book does move with pace; the story kicks in very quickly and immediately we start pulling together clues as we discover what really happened in the hospital that night and I did find myself gabbling through.

Although predictable there is an original storyline and the plot moves with pace. The writing is evocative and mixes in a number of interweaving character plot-lines and the secondary characters are built up so that they become more involved with the main premise of the book. One major wobble though was the author tended to really build up a scene in a couple of chapters and then the actual scene would be over maybe in a couple of lines. I think if these scenes had been slowed down it would have created a much stronger impact and helped to tell the story better on the whole.

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However, and this seems to be the same as many of the readers I’ve seen review this book it is mindbogglingly far-fetched lapsing on pretty ridiculous. As the plot grows we encounter a number of murders, attempted kidnaps and a whole lot of mixed up character relationships. It felt a little like the author thought how the hell do I sort all of this mess out. I did enjoy it but the ability to believe what was happening meant I read it without really investing in the plot or the characters which was a little tiring because I had made it so far through.

Once the story is over it’s a very abrupt ending which although underwhelming was the only way it could have really ended – we then suddenly fly a number years later and Gen is  recounting all that has happened – the ending is a little dark which I liked but it was overwhelmed with the feeling of it all being too over-dramatised to really make me feel anything at all.

Overall I did enjoy reading this – but almost from the sense of what on earth is going on towards the end. Would I recommend buying a copy of this book and searing it out no, but if you saw in the library and thought I want something a little dramatic and over the top with touch of romance and suspense – maybe.

Linnnnnnks

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