Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour for A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma MetCalfe. It is a fast-paced emotional read with some astute insights into infertility, abuse and post-partum depression, and woven into this thriller is a real threat. Or is there?
Gemma Metcalfe is a Manchester born author who now lives in sunny Tenerife with her husband Danny and two crazy rescue dogs Dora and Diego. By day, Gemma can be found working as a Primary school teacher, but as the sun sets, she ditches the glitter and glue and becomes a writer of psychological thrillers. An established drama queen, she admits to having a rather warped imagination, and loves writing original plots with shocking twists. The plot for her debut novel ´Trust Me,´ is loosely based on her experiences as a call centre operative, where she was never quite sure who would answer the phone…
About the book
God ensured she crossed my path. And that is why I chose her.
The day Louisa and James bring their newborn son home from the hospital marks a new beginning for all of them. To hold their child in their arms, makes all the stress and trauma of fertility treatment worth it. Little Cory is theirs and theirs alone. Or so they think…
After her mother’s suicide when she was a child, Louisa’s life took an even darker turn. But meeting James changed everything. She can trust him to protect her, and to never leave her. Even if deep down, she worries that she has never told him the full truth about her past, or the truth about their baby.
But someone knows all her secrets – and that person is watching and waiting, with a twisted game that will try to take everything Louisa holds dear.
What the author does exceptionally well is portray the ‘throw the Christians to the lions’ mentality between Louisa, Magda and Annette, especially when it comes to their infertility. Three women who bond because they are in the same boat, suddenly become envious adversaries when Louisa achieves the ultimate goal of a full term pregnancy and a beautiful baby.
This is actually one of the strengths of the story, the way the author doesn’t shy away from the reality of their emotions. Women struggling with infertility do feel envy and anger at women who have what they want. The need to have a child can become all-consuming, sometimes it can even be destructive. Not every relationship can withstand the strain of infertility, IVF and the desire for a child.
Metcalfe combines that sensitive topic with the often taboo topic of mental health, in this case post-partum depression and post-partum psychosis. Again giving the reader an excellent insight into the paranoia, fear and internal turmoil the mother feels in this situation. What is more upsetting is the feeling of powerlessness and loss of control. Everyone treats you like a ticking time-bomb and a child who needs to be sent to the naughty corner. You can feel Louisa being pulled between what she knows to be reality, what others tell her is real and what her paranoia is dictating to her at the same time. It is both frustrating and annoying.
Saying that there are of course two sides to every story, and somewhere in the middle is the truth, so what may seem like meddling and controlling is just concern. If you are on the outside watching your wife or partner go through post-partum depression, then your concern would be for the child and the mother. Their health and safety has to be at the top of the list. Any intervention would appear to be everything but helpful to someone suffering from the worst case scenario, which in this case is a post-partum psychosis.
Louisa has to battle with the trauma of her past and the insecurities of her present to keep her baby and herself safe. The question is whether she is strong enough to fight every single person in her vicinity.
A Mother’s Sacrifice deals with the very sensitive issues of mental health, post-partum depression and infertility. Not exactly easy topics to work with when you’re coming up with a plot for a psychological thriller, but Metcalfe pulls it off and more importantly she leaves a lasting impression. The kind of impression which will hopefully resonate with readers going through similar issues. Not the crazy stalker type of impression of course, but perhaps the sense that it is okay to feel negative emotions and anger when you’re going through difficult emotional upheavals in your life.