Another Woman’s Child by Kerry Fisher

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Could you take in your best friend’s child, even if it risked destroying your own family?

Jo had thought that her life – and her heart – was full. With a busy job, a husband and a teenage daughter who is going off the rails, keeping her life running smoothly had already felt hard enough.

But now Jo sits at the funeral of her best friend Ginny, crushed by the loss of a friendship that had endured for thirty years: from college and their first days at work through to settling down and raising their own children.

Against her husband’s wishes, Jo has made a life-changing decision: to take in Ginny’s teenage son Victor and raise him as her own. Despite her misgivings, Jo feels she had no choice: Ginny was a single parent and Victor had no other family who could take care of him.

But Victor’s arrival is about to break open the fragile cracks that were already forming on the surface of Jo’s family life and in her small rural community… and expose a secret that has remained hidden for many years, with devastating consequences.

From the bestselling author of The Silent Wife and The Woman I Was Before, Another Woman’s Child is an unputdownable and heartbreaking read about the secrets we keep from our families, and the sacrifices we are willing to make for those we love. Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain.

My thoughts

This is another poignant, thought provoking book by Kerry Fisher. I was hooked from the outset by the unexpected point of view in the prologue, and my interest was sustained throughout the story. The story arc covers some challenging themes surrounding friendships, secrets, family relationships, and racism both overt and subtle. At the centre is Jo, a wife and mother who has lost her closest friend to cancer and has taken in her friend’s almost eighteen year old mixed race son, Victor, against the wishes of her husband and against the advice of her friends. While the family is adapting to accommodate a near stranger into their home amidst a lot of external pressure, Jo is also struggling with a difficult relationship with her sixteen year old daughter, Phoebe. There is a lot to relate to in this book and the situations Jo has to deal with, often on her own, feel very real. If we haven’t had to deal with them ourselves then I’m guessing a lot of parents of teens have at least worried about having to deal with something similar at some point.

Another very satisfying read from Kerry Fisher.

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