Today I’m excited to share my review for The Shadow Child by Rachel Hancox. The gorgeous cover of a partially hidden door promises a book of secrets, scroll down to see if it achieved this.
Book review: The Shadow Child by Rachel Hancox
Title: The Shadow Child
Author: Rachel Hancox
Release Date: 14th April 2022
Eighteen-year-old Emma has loving parents and a promising future ahead of her. So why, one morning, does she leave home without a trace?
Her parents, Cath and Jim, are devastated. They have no idea why Emma left, where she is – or even whether she is still alive. A year later, Cath and Jim are still tormented by the unanswered questions Emma left behind and clinging desperately to the hope of finding her.
Meanwhile, tantalisingly close to home, Emma is also struggling with her new existence – and with the trauma that shattered her life. For all of them, reconciliation seems an impossible dream. Does the way forward lie in facing up to the secrets of the past – secrets that have been hidden for years?
Secrets that have the power to heal them, or to destroy their family forever …
The Shadow Child is a book of hope and reconciliation, of coming to terms with trauma and learning to love again. Most of all, it’s about how you can never quite escape from the shadows of your past – especially when one of those shadows is a child …
The first chapter with young Emma hooked me into the story and though it isn’t a fast paced read, I couldn’t put it down because I connected to all but one of the characters. The beginning focused on the parents’ distress of having a missing child, their coping strategies, the mystery behind Emma’s disappearance and the relationship with their new tenants. Everyone had secrets and I kept turning the page to discover how they would all be revealed and whether reconciliation would be possible.
The arrival of Emma’s voice lured me in further. Her turmoil and reasons for disappearing surprised me and made this novel different to others I’ve read. All the characters including those on the fringes had depth and believable backstories making it an emotional and engaging read. It is told with empathy and sensitivity which is crucial as it delved into the affects of grief, disability and the impact they have on families and individuals.
Would I recommend?
Yes, it’s an engaging and emotional read with well-developed characters thrown into an unimaginable situation. With some heart-breaking moments tissues maybe required but these are also balanced with moments of hope.
I look forward to reading more from the author in the future.
RACHEL HANCOX read Medicine and Social and Political Science at Cambridge, qualified as a doctor three months after getting married, and has juggled her family, her career and a passion for writing ever since. She worked in Paediatrics and Public Health for twenty years, writing short stories alongside NHS policy reports, and drafting novels during successive bouts of maternity leave. Rachel has five children, three dogs and a cat. She lives in Oxford with her husband and youngest children.
Thank you Random Thing Tours for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.