Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Lost Child by Emily Gunnis.
Emily Gunnis previously worked in TV drama and lives in Brighton with her young family. She is one of the four daughters of Sunday Times bestselling author Penny Vincenzi. This is her second novel.
Follow @emilygunnis on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Buy The Lost Child
About the book
A tragic death. A missing baby. A long-kept secret…
1960. Thirteen-year-old Rebecca and her mother live in fear of Rebecca’s father’s violent temper. As a storm batters Seaview Cottage one night, Rebecca hears a visitor at the door and an argument ensues. By the time the police arrive, the visitor has fled and both Rebecca’s parents are dead. No one believes Rebecca’s story that she heard a stranger downstairs…
2014. Iris, a journalist, is sent to cover the story of a new mother on the run with her desperately ill baby, as the police race against time to find them. When the trail leads back to Seaview Cottage, the childhood home of Iris’s own mother, Rebecca, Iris must unravel the events of the night Rebecca is desperate to forget for Seaview Cottage to give up its secrets. To find the truth she must follow in her mother’s footsteps.
A friendly suggestion if you don’t like spoilers – the book starts with a Dear Reader letter from the author – don’t read it until after you have finished the actual story.
The story is told via multiple women, in the past and the present, and all threads lead back to a young girl called Rebecca. A child damaged and defined by the murders of her parents at the tender age of thirteen.
In the present a young woman has run off with her really ill newborn baby. Journalist Iris is sent to cover the story and neglects to mention why she is personally invested in finding the young woman before she hurts herself or the baby.
I had to keep reminding myself that Jessie was vulnerable and perhaps not thinking straight when she was interacting with Rebecca. I found myself getting angry on Rebecca’s behalf, but being drawn in emotionally is always a sign the author has done their job. Jessie owns her own experience with Rebecca, what she doesn’t own and has no right to demand is what Rebecca did or did not experience in the past. It is entitled, pushy behaviour – regardless of what Jessie thinks she might know.
Aside from the obvious tragedy of a lack of understanding when it comes to postpartum psychosis and the way women have and often still suffer because of it, this story is very much one about a broken family. How the jigsaw pieces of that family fit together is another story.
It’s a captivating story of betrayal, abuse, the irreversible damage of systemic misogyny and how the bond between mother and child isn’t necessarily defined by blood.
Buy The Lost Child at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Headline Review; pub date 16th April 2020 Paperback – £7.99 – Also available as eBook and Audiobook. Buy at Amazon com.