‘It’s every parent’s worst nightmare’
The Night Olivia Fell is the debut novel by Christina McDonald and has just been published with HQ Stories.
It is described as ‘a fast-paced and action packed psychological thriller full of twists and turns you won’t see coming’
– think Reconstructing Amelia meets Friend Request meets The Luckiest Girl Alive.
I am delighted to bring you all my review today, so I do hope you enjoy
[ About the Book ]
A fast-paced and action-packed thriller, full of twists and turns you won’t see coming. It is the most gripping suspense mystery you’ll read this year.
They said it was an accident. Her mother knows they’re lying. But the truth comes with a price…
IT’S EVERY PARENT’S WORST NIGHTMARE.
Abi Knight is startled awake in the middle of the night to a ringing phone and devastating news – her teenage daughter, Olivia, has been in a terrible accident.
Abi is told that Olivia slipped and fell from a bridge into the icy water below, and now she lies silent, dependent on life support.
But then Abi sees the angry bruises around Olivia’s wrists and learns that her sensible daughter is in fact three months pregnant . . .
WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT IF THEY TOLD YOU IT WAS AN ACCIDENT?
[ My Review ]
The Night Olivia Fell is a book I had been hearing quite a bit about over on Social Media, so I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to read it.
Abi Knight is a single mother. Her daughter Olivia is an A-Grade student and a competitive swimmer, driven by Abi to be more than she herself was, a teenage mother with very little prospects. Abi had a very tough beginning in life and was reared by her older sister, Sarah. After the birth of Olivia, the result of a Summer romance, Abi made the decision to give Olivia all that she missed out on growing up, the most important of these being a mother’s love. Abi is always very concerned for Olivia’s safety, being extremely protective of her on a daily basis. Olivia would make jokes to her friends about this, but underneath it all, she knew her mother loved her and wanted the best in life for her.
But Abi’s life changes drastically when she receives the phone call that every parent fears the most, Olivia has had a fall and is in a very serious condition in the hospital. Abi is in shock but when she reaches the hospital she is not prepared for the traumatic news that follows. Olivia, apparently, fell off a local bridge and has suffered serious head injuries, leaving her with irreversible brain damage. The doctor informs Abi that due to legal requirements, they are not in a position to turn off the life support machine because Olivia is pregnant……..
The Night Olivia Fell is part thriller, part emotional roller-coaster. The decisions that Abi have to make are heart-breaking. She is going to lose her daughter after the birth of her grandchild and Abi is understandably shocked, as she is faced with a very long grieving process. But in the midst of all the initial anguish, Abi notices what appears to be bruises on Olivia’s wrists. She brings her observations to the police but is met with almost indifference.
As Abi sets out to discover what really happened to Olivia that fateful night, we are introduced to Olivia’s story, told from Olivia’s perspective. Olivia was hiding her own secrets from her mother and as Abi peels back the layers, she realises the extent of Olivia’s subterfuge, causing Abi to take a good look at herself and her own relationships with people, both past and present.
The Night Olivia Fell is very much a book driven by the characters. Each have their own story to tell and as the narrative switches between the past and the present, the full story of what did happen to Olivia on that very fateful night is revealed. Although tagged as a psychological thriller, it felt way more than that to me. As a mother myself I had so much empathy with Abi and the decisions she had to face. I ended this book with big fat tears in my eyes, not a condition I’m normally in after reading a thriller!!
The Night Olivia Fell is an extremely captivating read with an inevitably heartrending finish. It’s an incredible debut and I whole-heartedly look forward to reading more from Christina McDonald.
My thanks to Harper Collins Ireland for sending me a review copy of this book.
[ Bio ]
Christina McDonald is an author of suspenseful, emotional thrillers. She is an avid bookworm and a devoted mother and wife.
An author, journalist and copywriter, Christina has worked for companies such as The Sunday Times, Dublin, The Connacht Tribune, Galway, Expedia, USAToday.com, Travelex, and Pearson Publishing.
Originally from Seattle, WA, she holds an MA in Journalism from the National University of Ireland Galway,
She was born in Seattle, Washington and now lives in London, England with her husband and two sons, where she enjoys reading, writing, hiking and lifting weights at the gym.
Website ~ https://christina-mcdonald.com/
Twitter ~ @Christinamac79