The Secret Daughter by Kelly Rimmer

It's by bringing the ghosts to light that we lay them to rest.

Title - The Secret Daughter
Author - Kelly Rimmer
Publication Date - June 18th 2015
Publisher - Bookouture
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 273

The blurb

As I saw my new-born baby's face for the first time I tried desperately to capture her face in my mind - to stamp it into my eyelids. As she was taken from me I knew I might never see my daughter again.

37 years later...
'You were adopted'. Three short words and Sabina's life fractures. 
There would forever be a Before those words, and an After.

Pregnant with her own child, Sabina can't understand how a mother could abandon her daughter, or why her parents have kept the past a secret.

Determined to find the woman who gave her away, what she discovers will change everything, not just for Sabina, but for the women who have loved her all these years.

Becca's thoughts 

First of all, I'd like to say a massive thank you to the fabulous team over at Bookouture for providing me with a digital copy of The Secret Daughter by Kelly Rimmer in exchange for a fair and honest review. I have to admit, this isn't the usual type of read that I go for, but I cannot even begin to tell you how glad I am that I went and read it anyway because, bookish beauts, this was absolutely, beautifully heartbreaking...

The Secret Daughter is Kelly Rimmer's second novel with publishers Bookouture. Kelly's first novel with Bookouture, Me Without You, was published back in June 2014, and is one that I haven't yet had the chance to read, but I'm certain that after my experience with The Secret Daughter, I will definitely be treating myself! There is no doubt in my mind that Me Without You will be absolutely saturated with the same effortlessly real emotion that Kelly's second novel is.

In The Secret Daughter, Kelly Rimmer masterfully handles a truly tender and moving plot that had the floodgates bursting open. One of the things that I adored most within this book was how it was structured. Rather than taking the reader right the way through Sabina's story of self-discovery in the present day, the reader is swept into the past during a time of great sadness and grief. Not only do we watch this emotional novel unfold from Sabina's first-person narrative, which was completely overwhelming, but we're also invited to watch the past reveal itself first through Lily's letters, and then through Megan's first person perspective, too. I've probably made it sound complicated in my review but I can assure you that this is most definitely not the case. Kelly handles these different times and narratives with excellent ease, and I cannot applaud the author enough on the effect that this had on me as a reader. I believe that when an author takes a reader into the past, something magical happens. Not only are we involved in the story and the characters, but in this novel, we're finding things out before the characters themselves, life-changing things that I sort of felt a bit awful for knowing before the person who these things affected most. This graceful slipping between the past and the present left me breathless, with sadness and disbelief and utter, utter despair, because I knew that past events, no matter how awful, just couldn't be altered. I believe Kelly chose the most effective way to tell this story, the most impassioned, stirring way.

What unfolds in this novel is something that I've never experienced first-hand in my own life, but Kelly deals with the situations which arise beautifully. It's a very serious, very delicate subject, and even more so because the main character Sabina has absolutely no idea what it is that's about to unfold when she and husband Ted announce their pregnancy to her parents. It was a shock for me, as the reader, to watch Sabina's life suddenly be tugged from beneath her when just moments ago it had seemed so neat and orderly. Kelly's descriptions of Sabina's emotions captured the sheer distraught and confusion perfectly. Despite having never been in such a situation myself, I did feel as if I were experiencing Sabina's emotions right alongside her. It was a captivating read, filled with a very raw and devastating account of a time gone by, and the consequences from past actions. 

As I mentioned above, this isn't the type of book that I'd usually go for, but I am so very happy that I did. This tugged my heart in so many directions I'm surprised it didn't tear completely apart in my chest. This novel was over-flowing with realness and selfishness that arises only from love. Kelly really does know how to drag her reader into the story and ensure that they stay there. I couldn't have been more involved if I'd tried. I was desperate to see where the discovery of Sabina's circumstances would take her. Whilst reading in the present day, I was eager to get back to the past to see what happened next and whether it would affect Sabina in the here and now. It did, of course, because every action has a consequence, and these consequences echoed through time, so many years down the line.

I adored this novel. Absolutely, 100% adored it. Kelly Rimmer is a beautiful writer and I will definitely be visiting her books again sometime in the near future. The Secret Daughter packed such an emotional, powerful punch, one that I don't think I've felt before that I'll always associate with her novels from now on.

Becca's Books is awarding The Secret Daughter by Kelly Rimmer with five of my cupcakes! I believe this stunning story will curl around the hearts of many, and squeeze ever so tightly.


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