Sunday 2 May 2021

The Choice - Samantha King



Madeleine lived for her children. She'd always believed she'd die for them too. But on the morning of her twins' tenth birthday her love was put to the test when a killer knocked on their door and forced her to make a devastating choice: which child should live, and which should die - her son, or her daughter?


Madeleine stands silent on the periphery of her fractured family, trying desperately to unravel why her world was so suddenly blown apart. But as memories of everything leading up to that tragic day return in agonising flashes, she begins to realise her family's life still hangs terrifyingly in the balance...

What did I think?

I thought I had The Choice all worked out after a couple of chapters, but I was totally wrong.  Reading books is one time when I am more than happy to be wrong as it means that I'm reading something great.  The Choice is so completely enthralling that I couldn't put it down and I ended up reading it in one sitting.

With a loving, hard-working husband and adorable twins, Madeleine seems to have the perfect family but her world is blown apart on the twins' tenth birthday when a masked gunman forces her to choose between her children.  Madeleine's life ended the day she chose to end the life of one of her twins and she exists rather than lives in the aftermath, haunted by memories of that fateful day.  Even more alarming is the fear that the threat has not been extinguished so as painful as her memories are, Madeleine must relive them in order to save her remaining family.

Told in four captivating and highly addictive parts, there's no way of stopping this reading train once you get on it.  Although my brain was whirring and I was trying (and failing) to work things out, I was reading so fast that I ended up just sitting back and enjoying the ride.  The storyline is intriguing, gripping and so fast-paced that you can't help but whizz through the pages, unearthing shocks and surprises along the way.

When I finished reading The Choice, I found myself considering memories and the workings of the brain.  We often read about memories being unreliable and I find it amazing that the brain is able to fill in any blanks with the best fit scenario.  I find it astonishing that we can sometimes recall a distant memory so clearly yet I've often wondered how much of that memory is being seen through rose-tinted glasses.  It's like how you can never remember wet and windy childhood memories of school summer holidays.  I wonder just how many lost memories are actually sitting in our brain's recycle bin.

The Choice is an absolutely breathtaking and mesmerising debut novel from Samantha King.  Published in 2017, I only just came across this novel in 2020 and I'm so glad that I did as I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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