Emma and Stella Taylor are a mother and daughter with very different personalities. Emma has a secret, one that could threaten her family, and Stella is determined, at any cost, to discover just what her mother’s secret is. Meanwhile, Lizzie Bradshaw, a young mother and wife, is forced to leave her family for several days each week as part of her job. When she witnesses a terrible crime, more than one life will be affected. Will any of them be able to put the past behind them and live the life they want?
I was hooked right from the prologue of My Mother’s Secret, when we are privy to an altercation in a shop that leads to grave circumstances for all those involved. This was a great start to the book and left me asking questions that I hoped would be answered as I read. It also gave a hint as to the troubles that were to come. Initially, as the chapters moved between the perspectives of Lizzie, Emma and Stella, it was a bit confusing but I found that once the plots developed, it became much easier to follow.
The main message in the book is probably how, no matter how perfect our life is, it only takes one event to change it all in the blink of an eye. Although Lizzie was struggling financially with her new family, she did appear to be at the brink of a fantastic life, only for it to be cruelly taken away from her. I felt a great deal of sympathy towards Lizzie and did not envy the decisions she had to make.
Emma, on the other hand, I did not initially warm to as I found her overprotective and, at times, rather odd! As we get to know more about her past, however, and discover what made her the way she is, she became much more of a fascinating character. Stella, I found just like any other teenage girl, desperate to grow up but hampered by her parents.
There are a few twists in the story that were not that hard to figure out but there was one revelation towards the end that I did not see coming. It filled me with anger to discover how one of the characters had been manipulated and would probably continue to be so for the rest of their life.
I really enjoyed My Mother’s Secret and will definitely be looking out for more of this author’s work.
With thanks to Corvus and Readers First for my ARC.