Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Book Review - A Special Delivery by Clare Dowling

A Special Delivery
A Special Delivery by Clare Dowling
Published: 23rd October 2014
Publisher: Headline Review
Pages: 389
Available on kindle and in Paperback
Every family has its ups and downs ...

Aisling Brady is miserable. So is her husband Mossy. The three kids are too. Yet nobody dares say a thing. Instead the Bradys keep their heads down and grimly look forward to another miserable Christmas in Dublin.

What Aisling doesn't know is that this year, they will get the most unexpected gift of all. One that will bring joy and heartbreak, hope and a string of sleepless nights.

As their world is turned upside down, questions have to be asked. But are the Bradys ready to face the truth about themselves? And what each of them has done?
On the outside the Brady family looks like any other ordinary family about to celebrate Christmas, however on the inside this family is miserable.  Mother Aisling is at breaking point trying to hold everything together.  Two days before Christmas and the family are dreading another day spent trying to pretend everything is normal, son Anto and his dad are at each other’s throats and to top it all the dodgy collection of outdoor lighting has blown a fuse and left the family with no electricity.    In bursts daughter Louise with a baby she found in the crib in their nativity scene.  As the family begins to piece together who the baby is and where he came from things begin to change in the Brady household and one thing is certain, things will never be the same again.
I love Clare Dowling novels and this one is no exception, she has a real talent for creating heart-warming family dramas which draw you in and keep you wanting more.  In A Special Delivery she has created a family which represents a normal family dealing with issues some families will face, although maybe not all at the same time.  Although the Brady’s are unhappy there is still some sense of togetherness and the arrival of grandson Darren draws them closer than they’ve been for years.
I really felt for Aisling she’s trying so hard to cling to the family she loves even though deep down she knows some members need to be left on their own. As the book unfolds she has to face more and more drama and I’m glad she was tough enough to stand her ground. My favourite character in the book was Anto which surprised me as I don’t generally relate to teenage boys. I really liked the way he changed from a sulky lazy teenage boy to a one which was driven and had direction. I also liked the way he played with Darren and tried to teach him to crawl, so cute.
This is a novel about families which deals with a number of problems drug abuse, unwanted teenage pregnancies, post-traumatic stress disorder, sibling rivalry and growing up and taking responsibility.  It is a book full of twists and turns and will keep you guessing all the way through. The twist at the end totally shocked me and had me going “No!”
I really enjoyed this book and it’s made me realise how much I’ve missed reading Clare’s books, definitely time to pick up some more I think. Fans of Clare Dowling will love this, its jam packed with family drama and makes a brilliant read.
I would like to thank bookbridgr and Headline Review for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rating 5/5

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