When a child is lost, can the heart ever recover?
Marie Tully is eighteen when she gives birth to twins at a home for unmarried mothers. Penniless and alone, Marie is forced to make an impossible choice. One she will regret for the rest of her life.
Against the odds, Marie raises her son Barry and gives him a good life. Yet she can never bring herself to tell him that somewhere out there, he has a twin brother.
But secrets can’t stay buried forever. And when Barry learns the truth, it threatens to tear mother and son apart all over again.
Will the family ever be reunited? And can the scars of a lifetime ever truly heal?
Spanning across 30 years this is a story of a young mother, forced to give up one of her babies, one of her two twin boys, Barry and Donal, and how that one moment in time’s impact has on the families life’s and how it resonates through all their futures.
Beginning in 1970 the main narrative is told by the twins mother, Marie, but also switches between both sons pov as well, giving the whole book extra depth and allows you to follow first hand how each of their lives have developed throughout the years, taking us with them right up to it’s conclusion in 2005.
Discovering that she was pregnant and the father nowhere in site, young Marie is sent from her home in Ireland to London for a secret abortion before anyone finds out that she has disgraced her family. But upon arrival in London, not wanting to go through with the abortion, she desperately wants to keep her baby and Marie hears about a mother and baby home, St Agatha’s, run by nuns which she turns to for help keeping the baby. What she didn’t know beforehand is that the nuns put the babies up for adoption. She also didn’t know that she was expecting twins!
After the birth Marie is put under immense pressure to put both her twins up for adoption against her will. With gritted determination she manages to keep one of the babies whilst the other was swiftly adopted by a rich couple who were desperate for a child.
Heartbroken from the Donal size hole in her heart she leaves St Agatha’s with nothing but a tiny sum of money and one of her sons. After queuing for hours at the council offices in hopes of finding a bed for the night in the pouring rain she is granted a few weeks in a local b&b which doesn’t open until 6pm, so with time to kill and needing somewhere dry and warm to feed the baby she goes into the only open cafe she can see. And it is there that she first meets Sylvia.
Sylvia is the first person Marie meets when she leaves the convent and she is also the first person that has shown her any kind of kindness, helping her when no one else would. Sylvia is also her salvation when she helps Marie find and gain a respectable job as a housekeeper for a wonderful older lady, Erna Goldstein, who not only hires Marie but has a self contained flat within her home for Marie and her baby son Barry to live.
There is also the dual narrative as it follows Donal’s adoption and his life. He has always known that he was put up for adoption, but what he doesn’t know is that his name was changed by his adopted parents to Robert, he doesn’t know that he has a twin brother and he doesn’t know that he has a mother who has never recovered from being separated from him!
You know, Sylvia, sometimes I’m almost happy; I tell her. There’s just the one area of my life causing me pain and anxiety, and I can’t stop it. That feeling of loss eats away at my soul every day and every night – and the sadness never seems to lessen. If anything, it consumes me more and more as our separation wears on ….
With her obvious talent for writing, with this book the author has a way of reaching deep down into your very soul with some truly heart wrenching narratives as well as throwing in some completely unexpected twists that hit you like a sucker punch to the gut and leave you reeling! Amongst all the heartache there are also rays of sunshine so it’s not all doom and gloom, but it is a rollercoaster for your emotions!
The book is wonderfully written, the characters are real and completely engaging, all playing their part to create this captivating story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
The Lost Twin will be published on 26 August 2020 and is available for preorder now.
A huge Thank You to the author Diana Finley, publishers HQ and Anne Cater for my copy of this wonderful book and my place on the blog tour.