Monday, 5 March 2012

Review - The Child Inside by Suzanne Bugler

A deeply intense novel that I couldn’t put down. 

Understandably, Rachel has never got over the trauma of having to give birth to her unborn baby girl and she and husband Andrew throw all their efforts into bringing up their young son Jono who is the only thing that appears to be holding their marriage together.  When she finds out that she can’t get pregnant again, she resents both Andrew and Jono, and feels devastatingly lonely in her life as a housewife and mother. 

By pure coincidence, one day when Rachel is in a café, she hears someone address an older lady as a name that she recognises, and thinks that she may be the mother of a childhood friend Vanessa, who died when they were teenagers.  Rachel always looked up to Vanessa and she was quite an influence on her life at the time.  She follows the lady, but when she finally plucks up the courage to approach her, she is told that she is not the person she thought she was. 

Convinced that the lady is not telling the truth, yet not understanding why, she eventually contacts Vanessa’s brother Simon and meets up with him.  This leads to an illicit affair, which despite the effect that this could have on their respective families if they are discovered, they seem unable to stop, when they have both shared a past with Vanessa. 

This is an extremely emotional story, describing the devastation that Rachel felt for many years after going through what she had experienced and how it has completely affected her future.  These emotions are described so deeply by this author, that it would be impossible not to feel sadness compassion for this lady who just wanted to have a family.  She is so wrapped up in how she feels, that she thinks she is the only one suffering and that because no-one else ever refers to it they have forgotten all about it, and it is completely destroying her on the inside. 

Her son Jono was so rude to her, that I found myself wanting to “have a word” with him, because he showed no love or respect towards her whatsoever! You felt for her husband too, as he didn't seem to know how to cope with the situation and it didn't matter whatever he did, it was always going to be the wrong thing.  She and Andrew seemed so far apart, yet stayed together in a marriage in which they were both very unhappy.

This book was written so well that you felt every emotion Rachel was experiencing, felt her pain and upset and also felt her excitement when she met Simon, while he was part of her past with Vanessa, she wasn’t reminded of her dead child, so she didn’t feel any resentment or anger towards him just relief that he didn't know about her situation. With her husband, it was always a matter never mentioned but that was always lurking about just under the surface. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  It was very deep and extremely powerful.  It was so moving that I felt like I wanted to reach out to Rachel and help her through these deep-rooted and issues that she was so clearly struggling with and that were making her so tragically sad.  Only a very talented author can make you feel like this and Suzanne Bugler is very clearly such an author.  It also made me once again, feel very grateful and blessed for what I have in my life. 

Suzanne Bugler lives in South-West London with her husband and two sons.  Her novel This Perfect World was one of eight titles chosen for Richard & Judy’s Spring Book Club 2011 with WH Smith.  She has also written two novels for young adults called Staring up at the Sun and Meet Me at the Boathouse. 

You can like Suzanne's facebook page by clicking here

You can buy this book via Amazon by clicking here

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