5 ⭐️ Book review: ‘Breaking’ by Amanda Cassidy

I’m delighted to take part in the book tour of Amanda Cassidy’s fabulous debut, Breaking.

What’s it about?

On a sun-hazed afternoon in the Florida Keys, a child goes missing from the beach. Dr Mirren Fitzpatrick appeals to the world to help find her eight-year-old adopted daughter. The family are on holiday from Ireland, far from home and desperate to return there as they arrived – together. 

Yet the police are immediately suspicious of Mirren. She was drinking at a bar – alone – shortly before reporting that her youngest child had disappeared. As rumours abound about Mirren’s past a trial-by-media ensues, and she is turned from a figure of pity to the villain of the piece. 

And then a small body is found dumped in the ocean. Is Mirren a heartbroken mother, or the architect of her daughter’s fate?

My review

An awesome debut, I loved this book. It’s not my normal read, but I was intrigued by the plot line, and found much to think on with regard to each character’s backstory. I was especially fascinated by their experiences and how – like all of us – their poor decision making at times impacted on their later lives, and was pleased to see the author’s honesty abut that. For me, it made the characters all the more rounded and believable. Furthermore, I found the author’s challenge against society’s views about what a ‘good’ mother should be like to be especially brave, and she ought to be commended for that. In addition, I felt the book was very well written and well paced, with plenty of intrigue, twists and turns, keeping me hooked from the outset. This book smashes everything on its head, and I can’t wait to see what’s next in line from Amanda Cassidy!

Excerpt from the book

One week before

I’m completely mad, I admit to my therapist. Booking a holiday back to the place Nick and I got married when things are so bad between us, was one of the worst ideas I’ve had. But she thinks it could set us on a healing path. There are nine minutes remaining on our remote therapy session. Reflective work, she calls it. I’ve to stand in front of the bedroom mirror and go back to the start.

‘What do you see, Mirren?’ the therapist asks, solemnly.

Pulling my dark hair back, I let it cascade forward across the soft lines of my face. It swishes comfortingly across my eyelashes. My sharp features stare back at me from the mirror, unrepentant.

Bitch, I mouth.

This will be the first time I say these words out loud. To confess something no mother should ever admit.

‘When I look in the mirror, I only see one daughter.’ I hesitate. ‘The one that shares my face.’ I tuck a strand of my hair behind my ear, its darkness emphasising the delicate gold piercings dotted up one lobe.

‘Go on, Mirren,’ my latest therapist, Judy, coaxes.

Judy coaches me from the speaker on my mobile which lies propped up on top of my chest of drawers, video off. But I can hear the strain in her voice – her words now sodden with the same distaste I feel about what I’m admitting about my own child.

I know it’s time to face my deepest shame, even if I haven’t had the words until now. I take a deep breath and clarify, more for myself than for the person on the other end of the speaker.

Buy the book now!

Available from Amazon here and from Waterstones here.

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