The Winter’s Child

The Winter’s ChildThe Winter's Child by Cassandra Parkin
Published by Legend Times Group on September 15th 2017
Pages: 288
ISBN: 1785079034
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Susannah Harper’s son, Joel, has been missing for five years. Susannah refuses to believe her son is dead and clings to her desperate hope that he is alive and will return to her one day. Unable to cope with their son’s disappearance, Susannah and her husband, John divorce. This leaves Susannah alone to blog and follow whatever leads which may come up however misleading and cruel they may be. As she is obsessed with finding answers about her son’s disappearance, she turns to psychics. One night she visits a fair with her sister and visits a fortune teller, who tells her three vague things such as her son will come back to her but not the how, why or where. Susannah is left wanting more answers and things get a little wonky. From Susannah’s point of view, she is doing fine but her sister points out how Susannah scared her children at the fair.

Soon Susannah is hallucinating, and scenes occurred, and while reading them, I questioned whether the scenes were real, figments of her imagination, results of stress or if they were really happening. Something isn’t quite right with her hallucinations and she questions if her missing son is trying to send her messages. One might question if the stress of not knowing is playing tricks on her mind? Is her constant turmoil and search for the truth affecting her perception? Or is she just a sleep deprived Mother coping with the disappearance of her child?

This is a slower paced book which tells the story through Susannah in the present with glimpses back into the past. Susannah and John tried hard for a child and felt blessed when their “winters child” entered their lives. Happy to be parents, the couple often had differing viewpoints on how to parent Joel.

This book also shows through the responses to her blog, the sick and cruel way, people try to prey on the loss of others. To use their hope against them for their own means.

This book has some twists but none that really wowed me. The ending was more alike an “aha” moment. I wasn’t shocked and I’m not sure if most readers will be, but it will still evoke emotion. The word “haunting” comes up a lot in the description of this book. That feels about right. Something isn’t quite right, and I dare you to put your finger on it. This psychological thriller is chilling, thought provoking and has the reader feeling various emotions while reading. If you are looking for an edge-of-your-seat-page-turner you wont quite get it here. I found this to be a slower paced book but one that is still enjoyable.

Thank you to Legend Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Underwater Breathing

Underwater BreathingUnderwater Breathing by Cassandra Parkin
Published by Legend Press on May 17th 2018
ISBN: 1787198405
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acob and Ella’s parents have purchased a home on the crumbling cliffs of Yorkshire. There is one other home on the cliff, owned by Mrs. Armitage, that sits closer to the edge. Eventually the cliffs will crumble and both homes will fall into the sea. Sounds like a great place to live, right? Add in the “passionate” fights of their parents – and you have two unsettled kids as nothing in their life seems stable. Sixteen-year-old Jacob and six-year-old Ella hide in the bathroom during their parent’s fights and practice “breathing underwater.” Ella is afraid that their house will one day fall into the sea, so they practice their underwater breathing so that they can survive if the house does crumble into the sea below.

This is an interesting family. Why does Jacob go to school while Ella is home-schooled? Why does Ella’s mother sleep for long periods of time? Why does Mrs. Armitage not seem concerned that her home will one day fall into the sea as well? She appears to accept this as she goes about her business each day. She often goes out on her little boat and has an affinity for the sea. Has she been practicing her underwater breathing as well? Why is she not afraid?

Why did Ella and her Mother disappear one night? What secrets did their parents have? How will Ella’s re-appearance back into Jacob’s life change things? Because she does re-appear about 10 years later -making Jacob around 26 years old and Ella around 16 years old. Think about that when you get towards the end of the book.

There are a lot of secrets in this book and a lot of questions. This book is well-written and is an interesting premise. What happens when you learn the “truth”. When you think you know the story of your life, but it turns out you only knew a footnote? It is interesting when one sibling remembers things one way and the other sibling does not. I enjoyed this book but there were parts where I felt underwhelmed and other parts that had some ick factor. There were also parts that shined making this book a hard book to rate. This is one instance where I may change my rating after thinking about the book more. This book did have atmosphere, with the cliffs and the sea below, but I think it would have worked better with a more Gothic feel to it. Perhaps it would have set the mood more for me.

Thank you to Legend Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.