Book Review: My only child by Sam Vickery

Genre: Domestic Fiction

Rating: 5/5


It’s a miracle when Katherine’s baby boy is born healthy. But his twin sister doesn’t survive, and when Katherine is told she can’t have any more children the loss is almost too much for her to bear.

Katherine always saw herself having a big family: she remembers how the loneliness of being an only child used to overwhelm her, and she is desperate to adopt a sibling for her son.

But her husband Davis won’t agree. He worries that Katherine will struggle when the new baby arrives. What if growing their family only adds to the grief she feels over losing her little girl? What if this breaks their marriage apart?

And Katherine is forced to make a choice. Give up the second child she has always dreamed of or risk losing the family she already has?

An unforgettable and heart-wrenching page-turner about fighting for those we love. Readers of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain and Kate Hewitt will remember this story forever.

My verdict: Firstly thank you to Netgalley for letting me read this heartbreaking and equally heartwarming story by Sam Vickery. For me, Vickery is fast becoming a favourite of mine and this book is another knock out of the park for me. Touching on themes such as child loss, adoption, postnatal depression, helicopter parenting and attachment parenting I was reminded of Books such as Jodi Picoult‘s Leaving Time, Diane chamberlain’s The Midwife’s confession and a dash of Kate Kate Hewitt and Emma Robinson for good measure. Told through two narratives Vickery manages to show us there’s more than one way to lose a child and how the protection of the child is of the most important even if it results in alienating others. However, through Hazel’s narrative and her about the true nature of Katherine’s childhood, we learn that keeping secrets no matter how good the intentions do more harm than good. On the other hand, through Katherine’s narrative, we learn that parenting isn’t always plain sailing and slowly she realises that sometimes it’s okay to lean on others. We also see the effects of grief not just with Katherine but as the family as a whole and acceptance is the only way to heal. Through the adoption process, we see her and realise that by pushing to pursue the adoption of another child that she may lose the family has already had. Through Davis’s perspective, we learn that people do not always show grief but it doesn’t mean they don’t feel it. Davis has been brought up and taught that a man isn’t emotional, we also see that the strong bond between mother and son due to the traumatic circumstances surrounding the birth can make the father feel inadequate. Overall, Katherine and Davis learn throughout the adoption that they are capable of doing more than they realise and working together, as well as good communication will make it work. It is nice to see Katherine realising that her overbearing parenting style is like history repeating itself in regards to her childhood and it’s good to see that she recognises it and wants to have a more harmonious family dynamic by letting Davis in. Overall, the message is that it’s not disloyal to the child you’ve lost to carry on making a family and only by carrying on living life together can they honour their memory, they will always have a place in your heart This book for me will have a special place in my heart because what Katherine’s been through I watched my parents go through. It leads me through a rollercoaster of emotions and I would like to applaud Sam for writing about a taboo subject whilst remaining true to the realities of child loss and at the same time being sensitive. How apt that I finished this book at the start of rainbow baby week. There was not a dry eye in the house as I read this book and it will stay with me forever.

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