This bombshell has a massive impact on Sabina causing her to question every aspect of her life and feel immense anger towards her adoptive parents. Unable to fathom why they hadn't told her, she is even more frustrated when they shut down completely, refusing to share any of the details of her birth or information about her biological mother. Unwilling to be held to ransom by their silence Sabina sets about finding her birth mother, embarking on an emotional, heart rending journey.
This book explores not only the topic of adoption but of the culture of forced adoption and the unmarried mothers homes of the 1960s and 1970s. The attention to detail of this shameful practice was very good and the obvious research gave an authentic feel to the storyline.
Although The Secret Daughter explores a heartbreaking and emotional topic it is written in an easy to read style that immediately draws you in and keeps you engaged. I felt that at the characters were all very well drawn and three dimensional and that their emotional reactions to what was happening were spot on. Anybody who has experienced infertility, was adopted or was forced into giving up a child for adoption will no doubt relate to what this novel explores. Perhaps the only small thing I did notice was an overuse of elipses throughout ... It was a little distracting at times. I also felt the second half of the book was perhaps a little bit drawn out. I can't mention specifics without giving away the plot but I thought it probably could have been condensed a little with no loss of impact on the storyline.
All in all The Secret Daughter is a compelling and though provoking novel that examines a shameful practice that was widespread in the not so distant past. It also shows the age old truth that the bond between mother and child is sacrosanct and should always be respected no matter what the circumstances.