My enormous thanks to Georgina Moore for a copy of The Stranger In My Home by Adele Parks in return for an honest review.
Published by Headline Review The Stranger In My Home is available for purchase here.
The Stranger In My Home
Alison is lucky and she knows it. She has the life she always craved, including a happy home with Jeff and their brilliant, vivacious teenage daughter, Katherine – the absolute centre of Alison’s world.
Then a knock at the door ends life as they know it.
Fifteen years ago, someone else took Alison’s baby from the hospital. And now Alison is facing the unthinkable.
The daughter she brought home doesn’t belong to her.
When you have everything you dreamed of, there is everything to lose.
My Review of The Stranger In My Home
When Tom arrives on Jeff and Alison’s doorstep with the announcement that their daughter Katherine isn’t really their child, but his, the fallout reverberates far and wide.
Ooo. I so enjoyed The Stranger In My Home. Adele Parks has the ability to get right inside a character’s psyche and present them in fabulous detail. In this case it is Alison who is so distinct and well presented. I absolutely loathed her to begin with as she is such a controlling person, but as the narrative progressed and her frailties and background were uncovered she began to gain my sympathy and my empathy until I could fully understand her. By the end of The Stranger In My Home I was very firmly on her side. The first person aspect convinced me completely that I was almost inside Alison’s head listening to her thoughts rather than reading about her. The extra touch of the third person background added layers to Alison’s personality that helped to understand her further. I thought she was fantastically well portrayed.
All the other characters are also realistic creations so that this is a story about actual people to the reader and not fabrications in a book. I loved the title too. The Stranger In My Home could really be applied to anyone crossing the threshold into Alison and Jeff’s home as people are revealed to the reader. Even Alison is a stranger in her own home as dynamics shift and fluctuate.
I can’t say too much about the plot, as that would spoil the read, but I will say that my heart was thumping towards the end and not all of the plot was what I was expecting! The themes of identity and what actually constitutes parenthood are explored in a highly intelligent manner with writing that is such a joy to read. Adele Parks knows exactly how to tip a perspective with small phrase after more lengthy passages so that the reader experiences not only Alison’s emotions, but has shocks and discoveries of their own. I found myself exclaiming aloud at the perceptions of humanity at times.
If you want a narrative that is compelling, absorbing, intelligently written and entertaining on all levels, then look no further than Adele Parks’ The Stranger In My Home. It’s a corker!
About Adele Parks
Adele Parks worked in advertising until she published her first novel, Playing Away, in 2000, which was the debut bestseller of that year. All of Adele’s novels have been top ten bestsellers and her work has been translated into twenty-five different languages.
Adele has spent her adult life in Italy, Botswana and London until 2005 when she moved to Guildford, where she now lives with her husband and son.
Adele believes reading is a basic human right, so she works closely with the Reading Agency as an Ambassador of the Six Book Challenge, a programme designed to encourage adult literacy. In 2011 she was a judge for the Costa Book Awards.