Wednesday 1 December 2021

The Midnight Child - J.A. Baker

A long-ago trauma and a family mystery may shed light on her troubled sleep—or pull her into the darkness once and for all . . .

As a child, Grace Cooper suffered from bouts of sleepwalking. Now, after the unexpected death of her husband, she’s moved back to Woodburn cottage, her childhood home—and the sleepwalking returns. It’s all stirring up dark memories—memories that involve the disappearance of her brother Simon, who vanished one night when he was a child, and the death of her father, who fell from an upstairs window.

With her mother in a care home with dementia and her sister living in a nearby village, Grace tries to settle in—but with the passage of time, the sleepwalking only becomes more regular and the blurred memories of the past only become more disturbing. Spurred on by these hazy dreamlike recollections, Grace becomes determined to find out what happened to Simon that fateful night. But digging up the past isn’t always a good idea, because you never know what skeletons you might unearth . . .

What did I think?

I love J.A. Baker's writing; all her novels are outstanding but The Midnight Child is so magnificent that it completely blew me away.  It's a dark and disturbing storyline as sleepwalking and repressed memories are explored and you have to wonder how much you can really rely on your own memory.

The depth of character is stunning, with Grace Cooper being not only the main character but one of the few characters in the book.  Concentrating on one character in this way really allows the reader to get inside her head and follow her every move.  Grace was a sleepwalker as a child and her sleepwalking returns when she moves back into the family home, the home from which Grace's brother Simon mysteriously disappeared.  You can almost feel the secrets buried deep in the walls, just bursting to get out!  I certainly couldn't read fast enough to discover everything about Simon's disappearance.

I also have to mention Grace's mother who is suffering from dementia.  Although heartbreaking to read about this devastating condition, J. A. Baker writes so sensitively and honestly that I really must applaud her skill.  I can't even begin to imagine the effect that dementia has on the sufferer and their loved ones but I got a glimpse of it in this stunning book.

Ominous and tense, The Midnight Child is like a simmering pot, constantly threatening to boil over the minute you take your eyes off it.  I couldn't tear my eyes away from the page as I raced towards the absolutely breathtaking conclusion.  I can always rely on J.A. Baker to shock and surprise me and The Midnight Child did just that.  An outstanding and highly recommended novel.

I received a digital ARC to read and review; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment