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Review: Family Matters by Christine Campbell

Summary
Sarah’s husband, Tom, disappeared without trace eleven years ago.

Now her son, David has died.

Tom appears at David’s funeral and tries to reestablish contact, which Sarah refuses but Kate, her daughter accepts. The growing closeness between Kate and her father worries Sarah because she believes that Tom is dishonest and unreliable, at best.

Then Sarah finds David’s diary and follows the steps he took in search of his father.

It becomes a journey of self-discovery: what she uncovers forces Sarah to reassess her view of herself, her origins and her certainties.

A relationship novel, but also a detection novel with a difference: this story traces a woman’s drive to uncover and understand the truth about a family she thought she knew…her own.

Review
When Sarah’s ex-husband, Tom, disappeared 11 years ago, he left her heartbroken with two young kids to take care. Not knowing what had happened, she went on with life the best she could. Then one day, tragedy came by news that her son David has died. While at the funeral, Tom resurfaces with the attempt to make amends but Sarah will have no part of it. Kate, their daughter decides differently and welcomes the invitation against the advice of her mom.

As Sarah struggles to deal with David’s death, while in his room, she finds a diary that details his life leading up to his death. In attempt to find out what happened, she discovers not only was he looking for his father but it took her on an introspective path that uncovered many secrets that changed her life forever.

The book was definitely multi-dimensional with the story being told. There are aspects of the book that I think will resonate with some people who have experienced what Sarah has. For those who ever lost a child can relate to that feeling of guilt and what ifs with internal blame. If you have ever been in a position where the death is unknown, that quest to find answers can really challenge a person’s strength. The evolution of Sarah dealing with her grief not only with the death of her son but also the husband who abandoned her made an interesting read.

Once you get going in the book, there are several layers of this story that gets peeled away that add little twists and turns that make the story engaging. The characters are well defined with depth that enable you to escape into their story with the intrigue to learn more about them and want to follow their journey. There is a section where there is a strong dialect that might be challenging but other than that it’s a quick read I think you will enjoy.

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles

Book Information
Publication date: 12/8/2008
Pages: 284

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