Penguin Publishing Group | June 2019 | 400 pgs
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss 

This latest release by Clare Mackintosh is unlike any of her previous novels. Instead a psychological thriller which she usually writes, this book tackles on an entirely different subject which would not only pull our heartstrings but will question the choices you'll make under difficult circumstances. 

Max and Pip is a happy family with their 3-year-old son. Then little Dylan is diagnosed with brain tumor and despite of various treatments, the medical team has decided that there wouldn't be any cure for him as the brain damage is irreparable. Even if he lives, he'll not be able to walk, talk or to communicate his needs. Given this diagnosis, Max and Pip have to make a decision as to whether they should extend his life through further treatment or to allow doctors to give him palliative care till his final day. Both Max and Pip love Dylan and would do anything for him but for the first time, they aren't on the same page. Each thinks their decision is the best and fits the principle of humanity after seeing Dylan's suffering. Under this circumstances they've no choice but to leave it to the courts to decide. 

The first half of the book is the most difficult to read as the reader follow Max and Pip's thoughts and struggles regarding Dylan's future. There're lots of emotional evoking scenes here that would make you ache for the couple as well as little Dylan. The doctor-in-charge, Dr Leila Khalili, is a great supporting role as the author allows her reader to see another side of her, whether if it's professional or personal. The second half takes on a much slower pace and allow readers to see the two sides of a decision reached. 

This is a beautifully written story, though a sad and an emotional one. I've enjoyed this author's writing and this book stands out all the more due to a similar difficult decision she'd had to make thirteen years ago. As a parent, I couldn't imagine all the pain and the decision one has to make for his/her child. The weight of that decision is too heavy and no one can predicts the future. One would always question if he/she has made the right decision and then there's always these two words lingering in mind: "What if?" 

Like Max and Pip, I was curious to know the verdict of the courts' decision but after closing this book and pondering about the issues, I think no matter whatever the decision is, it is sufficient as long as we feel we've done what's best under that circumstances and being hopeful for the future. 

* This is a scheduled post as I'm currently taking a short break off of blogging. Comments and blog hopping will resume thereafter. 

© 2019 Melody's Reading Corner (, All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
10 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    This one might be too sad for me.

  2. Kay Says:

    Yes, quite a change for this author indeed. It makes sense though that this was an issue that she has first-hand knowledge of. I'm so sad for her. I'd have to be in the right mood, but I can handle sad at times. Will keep this one in my TBR for just the right time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Melody.

  3. jenclair Says:

    While it is sad, it doesn't play on your emotions in that manipulative way. It feels true and has an honesty about it that makes you consider all aspects. While it wasn't what I expected, I am seriously glad to have read it.

  4. I'm glad to hear your thoughts on this book. I've been debating on whether to read it or not. I had it on hold at the library, but cancelled it because it sounded so sad! I love her writing, so I may pick it up in the future.

  5. Glad to read that you enjoyed this one; I want to read it as well.

  6. Melody Says:

    Lark - It's sad but also a thought-provoking one.

  7. Melody Says:

    Kay - Yes, it must be a difficult writing journey for the author after the things she'd been through. I feel sad for her, too.

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I totally agree with you that this book doesn't play on your emotions in a manipulative way. I felt for Max and Pip and little Dylan too. I couldn't imagine the pain and all the heartbreak the author had gone through.

  9. Melody Says:

    Diana - This is definitely not the author's usual genre but still a worthy read from another angle. It's definitely one of those books that requires the right mood to read it.

  10. Melody Says:

    Diane - I'll be curious of your thoughts if you read it, Diane.

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear from you.