Thursday, February 20, 2014

Book Review: Look Again

This book jumped out at me in the Christmas book sale at our library. The premise sounded intriguing. "What would you do if the face in a missing child photo was your son's?"

Here's the back cover teaser:

"When Ellen Gleeson gets a 'Have You Seen This Child?' flyer in the mail, she almost throws it away. But something about it makes her look again, and her heart stops. The child in the photo looks exactly like her adopted son, Will.

"Everything inside her tells her to deny the similarity between her son and the boy in the photo, because she knows her adoption was lawful. But she's a journalist and won't be able to stop thinking about the photo until she gets to the truth. And she can't shake the question: If Will rightfully belongs to someone else, should she keep him or give him up? Ellen makes the wrenching decision to investigate, uncovering clues no one was meant to uncover. And when she digs too deep, she risks losing her life - and that of the son she loves.

"In this emotionally charged, heart-pounding thriller, Lisa Scottoline has broken new ground, Look Again questions the very essence of parenthood and raises a moral quandary that will haunt readers long after they've finished the last page, leaving them with the ultimate question: What would I do?"

This was an outstanding read. I couldn't stop plowing through the pages. Scottoline hooks the reader from the very first sentence and takes them on an emotional ride with ups and downs and unexpected jolts. Throughout the whole story you wonder whether the main character will find the truth about her son and whether she will follow that truth to do the right thing or hold back out of her own selfish desires.

The story explores deep questions. Is a child someone that you rightfully own as a result of giving birth? What is best for a child in a situation of abduction? Should a parent relinquish possession if it turns out the child, in fact, belongs to someone else? Is it better to place a child with a single parent who loves the child immensely or return the child to the biological parent simply based on the fact that the parent gave birth to the child?

I thought the characters were well-drawn. The plot sucked you in and continued to provide new twists and turns to keep you guessing. The premise was stirring and the conclusion was satisfying. I will say it took some suspension of disbelief since the main character repeatedly blows off her work assignments (how can she afford to jeopardize her job when she is the sole support of her beloved son?) and leaves him for lengthy times with his sitter (while claiming to be unable to bear the thought of being separated from her child ... plus, that sitter must have had no life to be available for whatever hours the reporter needed). But, if you can suspend a little disbelief and are looking for a good read, and perhaps a good book club selection, you can't go wrong with Lisa Scottoline's stirring book, Look Again.

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