Lost Daughter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 May 2019

Member Reviews

Rachel had been happily married. Her artist husband was happy to stay at home while she worked, looking after their daughter & doing the household chores (even if they weren't always the way she'd do it!) That was until something awful happened. Now she has to manage in a bedsit, doing temp jobs & only allowed to see Becca on a Saturday. Together with Leona, a work colleague, & Viv they meet as a small club for mothers living away from their children. 

The story is told from various points of view & at various times. Much of the story was leading up to the 'something awful' but the friendship that grew up between Viv & Rachel was, in my mind the best bit of the story.

This was a good read. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book.
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Book Court - Where I'm the Judge and Jury

Docket Page 55 – Lost Daugter by Ali Mercer
CHARGE (What was the author trying to say?): to explore the absence of a mother from a child’s life.

FACTS: Rachel, Viv, and Lorena are separated from their children for different reasons. They are drawn together by being absent parents. Through their experiences they work to resolve their separations and in doing so, learn about themselves and each other. The author, in describing the book, says: “Loss is as universal as love, the flipside of the coin, and it has its moments of both darkness and illumination – the light is always love, the only way to get through the dark bits.” In each case, the mother separated themselves from the child because they thought it was in the child’s best interest. But was it?

VERDICT (Was the author successful?): Guilty, as charged. The shifting chronology made it difficult to follow at times.

#NetGalley #LostDaugther
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Wow, what the feel good book of the year! It definitely had all my emotions going. I needed a Kleenex for this one. 

This book is about three women mourning the loss  of their children. They lose their children not in death but in other ways. Between divorce, sickness and mistakes they all have to come to terms with their loss and keep moving forward and fix what they have lost. 

I can’t say enough good things about this book. It was one hell of a rollercoaster ride for my emotions. I really felt all three women’s  pain and triumphs throughout the whole book. It felt as though I was living it with them. All the characters were greatly intertwined with each other and that’s what made this book so good. They all complimented each other and none of them seem out of place. The plot was excellent as mourning a loss isn’t bad enough but when it’s your child it’s a whole new ball game. I really love this book. 

Between the plot, characters and all the twists in this book it made it an easy and fast read. I would definitely recommend it and happily give it 5 Hearts❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
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This author has an amazing ability to draw the reader into the mind of the characters. 
This book is a work of art. This book covers a range of topics and they are all covered so well in this book 
This book was impossible to put down as you just wanted to keep turning the pages
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I quite enjoyed this storyline. 
There are a number of different threads to this read which makes it interesting but all with a common theme, the loss of their child in some way.
We meet Rachel who is living in a grotty flat, only seeing her daughter every Saturday and who has an ex husband who quite literally closes the door in her face and makes her wait in the car until their daughter is ready to come out to her. 
We are left wondering what has happened to them and their marriage to warrant such behaviour. 
Why is Rachel unhappy and not living with her husband and daughter?
We meet older lady Viv, who has had a son with special needs. What is her story? 
I love the relationship she builds with Rachel, both in need of a good friend.
Then, there is Leona, a work colleague of Rachel's who has given up her daughter for adoption.
Can these ladies help each other to rebuild their lives, forgive their past mistakes and move on?
I enjoyed Rachel's story being told from her point of view, the person who has left the family home. 
But are things always as they seem?
Do we always believe what we are told by our loved ones.
A lovely, thought provoking read full of heartache and sadness but also a glimmer of hope in the form of a beautiful friendship developing between these three women.
Well worth checking out..💕
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Gosh, this one pulls at the heartstrings! There were so many things that touched me in this book.

Rachel lives alone in a bedsit, whilst her husband Mitch and thirteen year old daughter Becca continue to live in the family home. The relationship between Rachel and the two of them is very strained, and she only sees Becca once a week. Initially it's not clear why, and the chapters alternate between current day, and before the 'loss', until eventually we reach the day of the loss and we find out what actually happened.

Rachel blames herself entirely for what happened and what she lost, and it's heartbreaking. She was clearly ill, and has been taking steps to get better. Through her new job, she meets two other women whose children aren't with them anymore for various reasons, and a friendship develops. She begins to feel positive again.

I was on Rachel's side right from the beginning, before I even knew what has happened. It just felt right. She is a likeable and sympathetic character, who is punishing and isolating herself. I was delighted when she found friends. For some reason, I never warmed to Leona, but I loved Viv.  She's the older, wiser friend that we could all do with. My heart broke for her too.

For me, Mitch is very much the villain of the piece. Of course, it's not quite that simple, but he carries most of the blame, in my mind anyway.

There are so many rich characters in this story, good and bad. They are beautifully drawn and seemed very real to me. My absolute favourite was Aidan, and it was him that had me tearing up at the end.

This book touches on several issues - being an absent parent, mental health problems and disabilities. I have some knowledge of all three of these, and I appreciated the realness in the writing.

Lost Daughter has a real emotional heart and is full of hope. It tells the story of one damaged woman's realisation that perhaps everything wasn't all her fault and the beginning of her healing. And I loved it.
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This was a really heartfelt and heartbreaking story.  I found the characters to be very deep.  I was pulled into this book very quickly, it was very emotional but extremely well thought out and well written. I would totally read more by Ali Mercer.
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Wow. What an emotional roller coaster of a book this is. Although it wasn't quite what I expected, it was such a powerfully emotional story of loss, grief, regret and self forgiveness that it didn't matter and I found myself completely wrapped up and invested in the characters and their lives.

The Lost Daughter tells the story of Rachel, recently separated from her husband and thirteen year old daughter and struggling to come to terms with the situation she now finds herself in. When she is invited to join a small support group for mothers estranged from their children, Rachel finds friendship and understanding. But she can't forgive herself for the thing that happened resulting in her being forced to leave the family home. What did she do that was so bad, and will she ever be able to forgive herself?

My heart really went out to Rachel. Society judges mothers who for whatever reason are unable to be with their children in a way that fathers never are. I could feel Rachel's shame and guilt, it was written so powerfully it jumped from the pages. The Lost Daughter explores the impact of marriage break-up through Rachel, but through the friends she meets through the support group it also explores adoption and care. I found Viv's story the most interesting. An older lady who has a secret adult son she visits every week. Born in an era when people with learning disabilities and autism were hidden away, Aidan has spent his life in long term care facilities on the advice of the professionals at the time. Working in this field now, it's a story I have seen often and really struck a chord with me.

The theme throughout the book is that of guilt, shame and regret and is very strongly portrayed. I wanted all the women to forgive themselves and stop beating themselves up. Ali Mercer writes with astounding compassion and empathy, it was easy to be able to put myself in these women's shoes, making for an emotional and thought provoking read. I also felt immensely angry towards Rachel's husband, Mitch, and honestly thought at the end he got off very lightly. I'm not going to type what I really thought of him here!

The Lost daughter is an incredibly raw and emotional story, with believable characters facing real human struggles. It isn't the most upbeat book around, nor is it a tense thriller. But it will draw you into these characters predicament and give you lots to think about with its honest portrayal of a taboo subject. Well worth a read.
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I thought this book was a pretty good book. I have never heard of this author and thought I would try it. I liked the relationship between these women. There were many sad parts in this book. I will look into ordering this book for the library and see how the patrons like it.
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3.5 Stars - Four days is too long to spend on a book.  It wasn't because it didn't turn out to be a decent read, but it was a character driven story and not plot driven, and sometimes it takes me a while to get through those.  So here we have Rachel, estranged from her daughter and her husband, because of an act that takes us almost the whole book to learn about.  She is trying to rebuild her life and her relationship with her daughter, but is having a tough time forgiving herself.  She makes a couple friends and joins their support group (of which they are the only three members) for mothers who are without their children, and we learn all their stories.  One is an older lady whose son was born with what I think today would be diagnosed as Autism, but 40+ years ago put him in a sanitarium.  The other lady is younger woman who gave (or was forced to) give her daughter up for adoption because of some bad life choices getting involved with drugs.  Then we have Rachel, who is still in her barely teenaged daughter's life, but in a very limited way because of something Rachel did that she feels is unforgiveable.  Basically this is a story about learning to forgive yourself.  Understanding that your choices, while they do have consequences, don't always define who you are, and you can move past them.  Most of us are just out there doing the best that we can, with the resources we have, and trying to get through this life being the best people we can be.  And mostly that's enough!
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When we first meet Rachel she is a woman who has reached rock bottom, her marriage has broken down and she has left the family home and only sees her teenage daughter once a week, although we don't know the full story as to what had happened to get to this point.  The first thing that struck me about this situation was the traditional role reversal as it's normally the father who leaves the family home and it was even more more confusing when we discover that Rachel had been the main breadwinner and it was her redundancy that had paid off the mortgage.  Surely whatever she had done couldn't have been that bad for her to be the one to leave?

As for Mitch, Rachel's estranged husband, there was something about him from the offset that I took an instant dislike to.  He came across as a weak and vindictive man, someone who seemed all too happy to play the victim card but only time will tell whether or not his actions were justified.  I hated the way that he spoke to and treated Rachel, holding all the control and power over when she could or couldn't see her own daughter especially when Becca is in her formative teenage years which will have an impact into the type of young woman she grows up to be.

Rachel is trying to rebuild a life for herself, it's not the life she wanted but she's clearly trying to make the best of the situation she finds herself in.  Living alone in a bedsit, she has taken on a new temp job where she works alongside Leona, another woman with a secret past.  And it's through Leona that she meets Viv, a woman who has created a support group for mums who are separated from their children although there are currently only three members, Viv, Leona and now Rachel.

Joining this group was definitely the lifeline Rachel needed, a place where she can talk about everything and not be judged.  Their stories were all different but they had that one thing in common, missing the child that they had given birth to and loved with all their hearts.  I loved the bond she built with Viv especially, the mother figure she so desperately craved, someone who she builds a true friendship with and I'm glad that she had someone there by her side when her supposed friends had all but abandoned her. 

The main story narrated is from Rachel's viewpoint, although we do also get to hear from Becca, Leona and Viv, with flashbacks back and forth to various dates in the past, which I will admit I did find very disjointed and jarring to read as they jumped back and forth all over the place.  But piece by piece the story unfolds and we are made aware of the circumstances of everything that has happened up to this point and it was very much evident that there is the story that people want you to believe and then there's the truth... 

Overall Lost Daughter was a well developed story with complex characters and some sensitive themes in particular mental health, the sense of loss and guilt.
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This was a good read, not great, but good.  I found that parts of it drug on a bit too long.  However, it was a nice break from the psychological thrillers I have been reading as of late.
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I loved this book. It took me a bit to get drawn in but when I was I couldn’t stop reading. The diverse characters really pull you in and the role reversal of a separation with a child made it even more intriguing. The upheaval and sadness in this book are amazing as well as the sense of finding yourself in the end and being happy with the results and choices of your life. This book really hit home for me!
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This is the story of three women who have had to give up their children, all in different circumstances.  The main character is Rachel, who is suffering from depression and loses control which results in her being estranged from her husband and daughter.  She was the main breadwinner as her husband stayed at home to look after their daughter.  Rachel tries to rebuild her life, gets a new job and meets up with two women when she joins a support group for absent parents.  We hear the story of how the other two women became absent parents.  The lives of the three women become intertwined and we realise that Rachel is not the only person who should be feeling guilty as her husband is keeping secrets of his own.  This is a very emotional read about love, loss and relationships and a very thought provoking read.  A highly recommended book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Rachel’s marriage to Mitch has fallen apart and she has moved out of the family home. She is distraught to only be able to see her daughter Becca once a week. But this is her fault, she deserves this. Or does she…?
Rachel has also started a new job and meets Leona who encourages her to meet up with other mums who are separated from their children for various reasons. She is encouraged to persevere with rebuilding the relationship with her daughter and the reader is gradually made aware of the truth behind the separation.
I was overwhelmed with a sense of unfairness whilst reading this book. I was angered at the way that Rachel’s husband portrayed himself constantly as a victim or martyr to her career whilst she was working all hours to support her family and give them the life he wanted. It becomes obvious that the relationship is unequal and he is manipulating their daughter to keep their relationship strained.
I became angry on Rachel’s behalf at the negative attitude towards the traditional role reversal. We don’t think of men as poor fathers for working to support their familiy but it was implied that Rachel was less of a mother due to her work.
Ali Mercer’s description of depression as The Deep is a good way to explain Rachel’s feelings and make it clear that she was sinking under the pressure of life and emotions.
The epilogue is really emotional to read. I won’t spoil the ending by revealing who or what, but it left a lump in my throat :'(
Lost Daughter really brought out my outraged side to support Rachel. The book is so well written that I genuinely felt strongly for her throughout the book.
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This was a very poignant book. It had some sad parts, some heartwarming parts and some surprise twists! Really enjoyed it!
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Lost Daughter I thought was going to be a thriller....don’t know how I came to that but it’s definitely not a thriller.
The book is centred around three women who become friends whilst at their little group meetings, they are at a lost children club and there are only the three of them in it. Rachel is the main character and she is separated from her 13 year old daughter because of her own behaviour but as we find out further along the book, it’s not all as it seems. The women become good friends and a tight bond is formed helping Rachel to become stronger and believe in herself and look forward to her saturdays with her daughter. Mitch the husband is a character in this book I didn’t like from the beginning and my feelings didn’t move at the end either.
This is an emotional read and although it is a slow burner it is a book I enjoyed and will be looking out for more by Ali Mercer.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for this ARC I received in exchange for an honest review.
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Engrossing and heartbreaking in equal measure. I really enjoyed this book, my first by this author. I will now look for more.
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Lost Daughter is the first book I have ever read by Ali Mercer and and I found the story to be quite captivating right from the start. Mercer weaves the past and the present so skillfully as we delve deeper into Rachel Steele’s life. In the present she is living in a ramshackle apartment after being forced out of her daughter’s life due to an incident a year ago. Only getting to see her daughter once a week is hard for her as a mother knowing she is not always there for her teenage daughter, Becca.

Rachel is now in a new job where she meets Leona. Leona places a flyer up for a support group for mothers who have lost their children in some way and it is here that she meets Viv. Friendships and bonds form between Rachel, Leona and Viv as they all share a heartbreaking story regarding their children. They share in their grief especially when they are at their lowest, but the group also symbolizes a new growth where they each come to accept what happened and learn how to deal with their issues. I really loved the growth aspect of the story and how the group helped Rachel come to terms with what happened and in turn helps her try to put her life back together again including her fragile relationship with her daughter.

Lost Daughter is at times a heartbreaking story and yet at the same time also uplifting especially when it comes to the journey that Rachel makes in order to get her life on the right path. I really enjoyed the friendship between the three women and how they lean on each other when things get tough. It did take me a little while to warm up to Rachel as their were a lot of questions running through my mind especially since her story is told piece by piece, but I could definitely feel her pain and feel how sorry she felt for herself. Viv, on the other hand, really was a standout character for me and I could feel her heartache and regrets over her own son.

Lost Daughter is a compelling and captivating story that I highly enjoyed and would highly recommend if you love an engrossing story that will tug on your heartstrings.
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This book totally hooked me and engrossed me. It’s so well written, the characters are so relatable and real, and the plot weaves its magic around the reader.

We meet Rachel, Becca’s mother, and all we know about her is that, somehow, her young daughter has become estranged to her. She alludes to the terrible thing that she has done, and the tightly woven plot twists and turns its way around, giving us snippets of the past events that led to this, but keeping us waiting to find out.

Along the way we meet others in a similar situation, and their stories are fascinating and poignant also. I grew very fond of her friend Viv in particular, and her wonderful son.

I liked Rachel as a character, and as the book progresses we get to know more about her, and to understand her better.

At the end, everything changes and secrets are revealed. The perfect plot twist.

A complex, poignant and captivating book, highly recommended.
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