10 April 2012

Review: The Mistake by Wendy James

The Mistake by Wendy James

Published: 2 February 2012 by Penguin Australia

Pages: 256 (paperback)

Genre/s: Adult contemporary, mystery

Source: Publisher for review

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ The Book Depository


The past isn't dead. It isn't even past …

Jodie Garrow is a teenager from the wrong side of the tracks when she falls pregnant. Scared, alone and desperate to make something of her life, she makes the decision to adopt out her baby – and tells nobody.

Twenty-five years on, Jodie has built a whole new life and a whole new family. But when a chance meeting brings the illegal adoption to the notice of the authorities, Jodie becomes embroiled in a nationwide police investigation for the missing child, and the centre of a media witch hunt.

Did something sinister happen to Jodie's baby the night it was born? The fallout from Jodie's past puts her whole family under the microscope, and her husband and daughter must re-examine everything they believed to be true.

An utterly engrossing exploration of what happens to an Australian family, seemingly just like any other, when a long-buried secret surfaces and a mother's dirty laundry is aired in front of the entire nation. The Mistake brilliantly explores the media's powerful role in shaping public perceptions and asks the haunting question: can we ever truly know another person?

My Thoughts

The Mistake is told in alternating POV with flashbacks to Jodie's childhood and her courtship with Angus and her relationship with her teenage daughter, Hannah.

After Hannah is injured in a car accident, Jodie finds herself back at the hospital where she gave birth 25 years earlier, completely unknown to her family, friends and Angus. When a well-meaning midwife discovers that Jodie adopted out her first child, she takes it upon herself to try and reunite mother and daughter with disastrous consequences. As Jodie and Angus try to preempt the police investigation into the baby's adoption, the national media grab hold of the story and twist it from the search for an adopted child into a murder investigation.

Jodie is a difficult character to like - she is reserved, composed and almost cold. She had no compulsion to reunite herself with her first-born child and instead seems to prefer burying her head in the sand rather than facing the truth. But as the story progressed, I felt more and more sympathy for her - as the media, the public and even her friends and family being to doubt and accuse her of some incredibly cruel things. As Jodie withdrew from life, hiding behind her perfect life veneer, it was hard to imagine how this story would end. And the ending was not what I ever imagined.....

Ms. James writes a compelling story - with real, flawed characters that have more than their fair share of personal demons and obstacles to overcome. Interspersed with media reports, flashbacks and some incredibly emotional scenes, The Mistake is a story that will keep you guessing right until the very last pages.

1 comment:

  1. I love characters that feel real, especially when in novels that have you guessing! Great review. :) I'm curious!



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