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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Charity Norman - The Son in Law

Review by showhost Jan 2015
I have never read any book by this author before but I fancied a different, lighter read to take away with me on a quick break.  I like to get away from my normal genre, crime, adventure, and thought this one was more a family drama.  It was definitely a family drama, but extremely well written and engrossing.  It certainly stays with you for a while after.
Joseph Scott was married to Zoe, a gregarious, beautiful young woman who he loved immensely.  They had 3 children, Scarlett 10, Theo 6 and Ben 1.  One day Joseph, the loving father, changed their family forever when he killed his wife, their mother.  The children were present at the time and Scarlett had to dial emergency services.  Joseph was sentenced to imprisonment for manslaughter.  The children sent to live with their maternal grandparents.
4 years later Joseph Scott is released.  He wants to see his children.  But they haven't seen him since they witnessed him killing their mother.  They are traumatised and frightened.  His mother in law (Hannah) and father in law (Freddy) are determined to do battle to stop him having any access.  They despise the man who killed the light in their life, their only daughter.
But Joseph can't let go, he wants access and hopes that one day they will be a family again.
The unfolding story is told from different perspectives, that of Scarlet, Joseph, Theo and Hannah.  This is why it has been likened to a Jodi Picoult.  That and the issues it raises.  Was Joseph let off too lightly?  Would you forgive someone who killed your only child?  Was the bipolar issue portrayed in enough depth?
It will probably cause great discussion in your book group.

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