Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Stolen Child By Sanjida Kay

Review by Vasundra Jackison

This is a story about a seven-year old child called Evie who is adopted at birth by a loving couple living in the beautiful setting of the Yorkshire Moors. It is also a story about Zoe, Evie’s adoptive mother. The birth mother was a drug addict and the father unknown. 

Evie is a happy child who loves her adoptive parents and her two-year old little brother. But this begins to change when she starts to wonder about her birth parents. Her mother notices that Evie has become very secretive and prone to throwing tantrums for no apparent reason.

Evie doesn’t look like anyone else in my family. Her hair is dark, her skin the colour of milky tea and her eyes are streaked green and brown.

Evie’s school teachers also notice her behavioural changes, and try to help. But things become serious when they find her secret notes and gifts.

Hello my darling. I’m your real father. I’ve been searching for you ever since you were stolen from me. I love you so much. Daddy.

Zoe is extremely worried and tries to make Evie understand that she is in danger. She cannot get through to her. She turns to her husband for support, but he is away a lot on business and does not seem too concerned. The police and teachers are also alerted. The only person who appears to understand is her new friend Harris who takes her for coffee and walks after school.

As they walk through the purple heather at Rombald’s Moor and stop at the Cow and Calf rocks, Zoe finds comfort in Harris’ quiet and calm demeanour. He tells her about a magical place in Pakistan called the Hunza Valley. She is pleased and blushes when he says:

I’m so pleased I found you. I’ve waited a right long time to meet you.

Zoe’s nightmare begins when Evie disappears on the same day that her son is rushed to hospital in a critical condition. How can a healthy child collapse and need intensive care? And who has taken Evie? The police suspect everyone, including Zoe’s husband.

With so much in the news about human trafficking, Zoe fears the worst. Then photographs of little girls in their underwear are found in the house of a friend. Unspeakable thoughts of child grooming and sexual abuse torment her.

I feel lost, adrift, with nothing to cling to. I’m literally helpless. How can I find my child? What can I do to save her?

Zoe believes that Evie has been snatched from her by the man claiming to be her real father. She is desperate to find out who he is and where he is holding Evie.

This is a very good read with lots of twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. All through the book, you think you know what will happen but the book has a surprising ending.

Thanks to Corvus for a review copy.

You can follow Sanjida on Twitter: @SanjidaKay

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