Sarah’s Child Book Review

Sarah’s Child is a drama by Paul England. It is set in Brisbane Australia, with parts of the story taking place in the UK. The story is told in a first person narration with the narrator changing every few chapters.

Here’s the description:

‘Sarah’s Child’ is all about love, decency and reality in a very contemporary context. When young Sarah Clarkson finds she is pregnant to her boyfriend, Stewart, she thinks her fairy tale life is just beginning. That fairy tale turns into a nightmare of domestic violence and crippling control and jealousy, driving Sarah over the edge.

Coming from a loving family, Sarah watches as her parents bring her newest sibling and their third child into the world, coincidentally the same day Sarah’s child is born. Seeing them enjoying the love and security of a long term marriage only makes Sarah and Stewart’s relationship all the more painful. Sarah develops postpartum depression, joining millions of mothers around the world with this insidious and crippling condition. Even when recovered, her life is wrought with frustration and pain as the father of her child uses every dirty trick in the book to control her.

Desperation drives Sarah to commit a crime that sends her even further down the path of despair and no matter what crimes her spouse may commit against her, it seems society is one sided and there is, for the once mentally ill, no justice. At least not if you are a woman, a mother, alone. Stewart is egged on by his evil step-mother and his worthless, abandoned-him-as– boy father. With such role models is it any wonder he sees nothing wrong in giving her the odd ‘love-tap’, or taking what is hers from her bank account… for the baby, of course.

This story is all too real because it is based on real events. Everything in ‘Sarah’s Child’ has happened to someone: someone you know, someone close to you, maybe someone very much like yourself. Maybe you?

The book was well written and the narration flowed nicely. I enjoyed the familiar way in which the narrator addressed the reader. The limited POV of the first person narrator provided a lot of twists in the story and emotional suspense.

I found the story realistic in a heart-wrenching way that made me want to fly to Australia and save this girl and her daughter. There was one part I didn’t find believable and that was when Sarah’s parents get her a new apartment and ask her to leave so they can have time with their new son without drama. Sarah was right to be upset by this. While it drove the plot I found it didn’t fit the characters or situation.

Otherwise the story was good, the prose were good, and the style was good. I did find the formatting awkward, the author would benefit from adding page breaks between the chapters to make the book easier to follow. This is my only real critique about the book.

I highly recommend this book and I look forward to the second book.

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