Thursday, 28 June 2018

Missing Pieces by Laura Pearson

Missing Pieces
By Laura Pearson
Published by Agora Books (published 21 June 2018)
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher

Publisher's description
What if the one thing that kept you together was breaking you apart?
All Linda wants to do is sleep. She won’t look at her husband. She can’t stand her daughter. And she doesn’t want to have this baby. Having this baby means moving on, and she just wants to go back to before. Before their family was torn apart, before the blame was placed.
Alienated by their own guilt and struggling to cope, the Sadler family unravels. They grow up, grow apart, never talking about their terrible secret.
That is until Linda’s daughter finds out she’s pregnant. Before she brings another Sadler into the world, Bea needs to know what happened twenty-five years ago. What did they keep from her?
What happened that couldn’t be fixed?

My verdict
Missing Pieces is a heart-wrenching book that takes its characters, and its readers, on a rollercoaster journey through grief, as a family comes to terms with the loss of a child. Laura Pearson writes with passion, creating believable characters going through a full spectrum of emotions.

Linda and her family are trying to pick up the pieces after a tragic incident, but Linda in particular isn't coping well at all - struggling through her pregnancy and living with a husband who is slowly drifting away from her. Each of the family members, including seven-year-old Esme, feels responsible for the past.

I like the way the book is structured - a book of two halves, featuring two timelines (1980s and present day). Chapters count the time in days from the tragedy, then swiftly move forward by 25 years. Even the present day chapters show the day count, proving that time doesn't always heal, especially when there are questions to be asked.

I often read books and wonder what happened to the characters afterwards. Missing Pieces provides some answers, showing the impact of so many years tinged with sadness. As the book progresses, there's some mystery and intrigue too, as details of the tragedy gradually surface, when youngest daughter Bea wants to know the truth about what happened all those years ago.

Missing Pieces is a story of families, especially fathers and daughters. It's sad, but also hopeful, with a focus on family ties. The loss of a child is every parent's nightmare, and Laura Pearson has tackled the topic with sensitivity and compassion.

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