There are some books that you spend your time reading and you simultaneously want it to end as soon as possible so you can finish the story, and you want it to never end because then it will be finished; over and done with. The Child's Secret by Amanda Brooke was definitely one of those books - and I loved every last page of it. Far from the dark, depressing book that I had been expecting, I have to say that I found The Child's Secret heartbreaking but surprisingly warm.
The book follows park ranger, Sam. We open with his interrogation by the police about a missing girl and for the rest of the book we flick back and forth between Jasmine's disappearance and the life that Sam life both before and during his attempt to make eight year old Jasmine's wishes come true. Far from a ridiculous story, this really hit home with me - it talks about love, manipulative relationships and domestic abuse and, although I'm aware it won't be to everybody's taste, I did find this a surprisingly good read. It's beautifully written and Brooke so perfectly catches the element and feelings surrounding loss that I feel as though it's hard not to be touched by something so raw.
I read this book over two days and I ended up staying up until four in the morning in order to finish it and so that definitely says something about it. I was guessing until the very end, and with some twists and turns along the way (but nothing so heavy that it would put you off buying this as a holiday read) - this is definitely one that will keep you captivated until the very close of the story (I mean it helps that it's set right where I'm from, but that's not it's only selling point.
I really love Brooke's style of writing; eloquent without seeming over the hope and nothing too elaborate that it prevents any kind of understanding. All in all - I feel as though this is a book for anyone over the age of about 15, and I feel as though it's one of those books that just really seems to stay with you for a fair while after you've read it.
I can't wait to see what other offerings Brooke has, and so if you've read anything by her that you enjoyed, please do let me know - also, let me know what you're reading at the moment!