Title: The Stolen Child
Author: Sanjida Kay
Zoe and Ollie Morley tried for years to have a baby and couldn’t. They turned to adoption and their dreams came true when they were approved to adopt a little girl from birth. They named her Evie.
Seven years later, the family has moved to Yorkshire and grown in number: a wonderful surprise in the form of baby Ben. As a working mum it’s not easy for Zoe, but life is good.
But then Evie begins to receive letters and gifts.
The sender claims to be her birth father.
He has been looking for his daughter.
And now he is coming to take her back…
The Stolen Child is a powerful and absorbing novel and I loved every second of it!
I am a big fan of Sanjida Kay’s first novel, Bone By Bone, so was very excited to read this. They’re similar in the way that they both focus on a mother and her child, but, as the title suggests, in The Stolen Child there’s a big element of a missing child, which adds an extra feel of tension to the novel.
I actually quite disliked the main character, Zoe – I found her quite judgemental and rash. One of the decisions she makes in particular paints her in a bad light and makes you wonder how valuable her family is to her – but when her daughter Evie goes missing you see her desperation and I did feel for her. Ollie is also quite unlikeable in the way he treats Zoe and her desperation and despair at him working all the time comes across so strongly in this novel; it makes you want to shake them both but for different ‘problems’. Neither are perfect, but both really love their children, and you can see clearly see that, so you’re rooting for them!
At times I second-guessed everyone and wondered if they were actually behind Evie’s disappearance, and I love books that make me do this! There’s always an element of whether Zoe herself could have something to hide, as well as Ollie, and though you don’t read any of the story from the police’s side particularly, I did wonder if they were suspecting the two parents as they investigated.
There’s dramatic moments and parts where I was convinced I’d figured it all out, but a satisfying twist keeps the readers guessing throughout. I loved the use of the moors to add an extra layer of eeriness to the narrative.
I honestly enjoyed reading every page of this well-written, tense novel. I didn’t want it to end, and I feel it’s probably one of my favourite books this year – and that’s saying something as I’ve read some great books so far in 2017!
The Stolen Child, along with the brilliant Bone By Bone, has propelled Sanjida Kay to one of my new favourite authors and I’m eagerly anticipating whatever she writes next, especially if it’s half as good as these two novels! A brilliant and gripping 5-star read.
Many thanks to Corvus Books for providing a copy of this novel, on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.