I was so happy to review the next book by the wonderful Renita D’Silva. After reading The Forgotten Daughter, I am a big fan of her style of writing.
Here’s the blurb:
Your mother has been arrested. She stole you.’
For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else.
Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…
Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.
Told through the eyes of Diya, Vani and Aarti, this is a heart-breaking story of friendship and betrayal, love and motherhood, which asks the question; how far would you go to protect your only child?
The book starts off right in the middle of the action: Diya’s Mum is arrested for kidnapping Diya; Diya is taken into foster care and from here she has to try and figure out what has just happened with her life. She is told that her real Mother is here in the UK and wants to meet her – she feels a whole range of emotions as she tries to come to terms with her past, and also, her present. We see this event from three perspectives: Diya’s, Vani, whom she knows as her Mother, and Aarti, who claims to be her real mother. We get flashbacks of the past and the book keeps the tension tight throughout, as the secrets of the past are revealed.
Again, as with The Forgotten Daughter, this book is just poetic and so descriptive; you really feel part of the moment. Each character has opportunity to develop and you get to know them as you read on. I found the story of Vani and Aarti really interesting – the dynamics of the relationship and how two people could feel ‘bound’ to one another. It is easy initially to feel you could predict what has happened but I found I was surprised by parts of the story. I enjoyed the way the story is told in different perspectives, and using this method just makes you want to read more as extra parts of the puzzle are put together.
A few comments I would make are that Diya is 13 years old; however I felt her ‘voice’ at times to be a little older. This didn’t matter to me as part of the story, just an observation I made as I read – she is a mature 13 year old but her vocabulary at times just sounds older. I also felt at times, things were slightly repetitive, which was a little frustrating as I just wanted to find out more! These are just little comments however and the book was still really engaging and readable.
I really liked the ending of this book; it takes you by surprise, and I felt it was a different approach to these types of stories. I felt that it was a positive ending, from something that could have been quite negative, or feel a little one-sided. I could understand why the ending could be this way.
For me, this book is all about Motherhood, having a child, what you would do for your child and also how you can influence your children. It is also about letting go of the past, forgiveness and moving forward.
This book is a great read, and would give it 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to read more from Renita in the future.
The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva is published by Bookouture on 12 September.
I was sent an electronic version of the book in order to undertake this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.