How can a family live without its heart?
Sarah is a loving mum to seven-year-old Izzie, a doting wife to stressed-out husband Adam and a best friend to her sister Mia, and is also pregnant with her second child.
When she suddenly collapses and slips into unconsciousness, it’s the first time the family will have to face life without their beloved Sarah, the glue who holds them together. How will they ever explain to Izzie that her mother might not make it. And can Sarah’s unborn baby possibly survive?
As Sarah’s condition worsens, the family begins to fall apart as they argue about Sarah’s treatment. Mia finds herself walking through her sister’s home trying to feel close to her again. And there she stumbles across the letters – seven in total – one for each year of Izzie’s life so far, written on each of her birthdays.
It is as if Sarah had planned for a day when she might not be around to tell her daughter just how much she loves her. But while Mia wonders if Sarah will ever have a chance to write an eighth letter, the family is forced to make a heart-breaking decision that will change them forever.
The last couple of years, I almost solely read thrillers and crime stories, but form time to time I throw in a real tear jerker or a romantic comedy. This time I had my eye on this emotional story and I most certainly enjoyed it.
When yuu read a thriller it’s often no so easy to figure out who the culprit was. In this kind of books you more or less can guess which path the author will take you on. In this case though, it is not so straight forward. Not at all…
It must be devastating to have a person you love being brought to the hospital. Even though it’s sometimes only for something quite simple, you worry because you want them getting well and coming home soon again.
What if it is something more serious, even life threatening?
It’s already hard for adults to deal with this, but what if a young girl is involved. How to tell her? Or should you keep it a secret how dire the situation is? It might divide the family in two, even rip them apart at times when they should be there for each other…
As usual, different people have different opinions about that question. You have to respect the decision made by the next of kin even though you don’t see eye to eye.
I could see both sides and admit they both had strong points, but Adam was standing too close to see the right picture. The rest of the family tried to make him see things from their point of view, but he was too focused on one thing and that muddled up his common sense big time.
It certainly is a story filled with lots of sadness, but also with love and realizing how lucky you are even though you sometimes don’t see it like that anymore. On the other hand, I felt sometime the story was a bit too slow paced and kept going on about the same things too many times. It got a bit on my nerves and took away some of the emotions I should have kept my focus on.
Anyways, if I look beyond that, it still was a very good book. 4 stars
About the author
Sinéad was born and raised in Dublin where she grew up surrounded by books. Her mother is an author of children’s books. Growing up, Sinead says she was inspired by watching her mother writing at the kitchen table and then being published. From that moment on, her childhood dream was to write a novel.
After university, she went to live in Paris and then London. It was at the age of thirty, while working as a journalist in London that she began to write creatively in her spare time – after work, at lunch times … and, truth be told, during work hours.
After a couple of years toying with ideas, she joined a creative writing group and began to write The Baby Trail. The bitter-sweet comedy of a couple struggling to conceive hit a nerve in publishing circles. It was snapped up by Penguin Publishing in the UK and Ireland and has, to date, been translated into twenty languages.
Since writing The Baby Trail, Sinead has moved back to Dublin where she lives with her husband, two sons and baby girl.
Facebook and Twitter @sinead_moriarty