Source: Review copy
Publication: 27 November from Red Dog Press
My thanks to the publisher for an early copy for review purposes
Lucas Findlay thinks he has struck gold when he marries Rebecca, but she married him for one reason only – to destroy him.
Trauma runs deep
When her past comes back to haunt her, Rebecca begins to disconnect from herself and the world around her. As secrets are unearthed, she begins to fear for her sanity … and her life.
Truth will out
With her world unravelling around her, Rebecca clings to her determination to make Lucas pay, whatever the cost.
Forgive his sins
But someone must pay for the sins of the father…
Sharon Bairden’s Sins of the Father had me in tears by the third chapter. It is dark, so very dark. It is also heartbreaking, especially those early chapters which deal with Rebecca Findlay as a young child, brought up without love or hope or any kind of emotional nourishment; there only to do her mother’s bidding, like it or not.
Bairden paints a raw and unflinching portrait of how a child learns to live in that environment and shows us what coping mechanisms come into play – coping strategies that take deep root in her psyche and never leave her, even into adulthood.
Her portrait of a child moving from the squalor of a loveless home into the social care system is also devastating. It’s not something that we as a society don’t know about; it’s just that we prefer not to know, and Bairden brings that message out with striking clarity. How can we fail our children so comprehensively?
Then, just as you think there is no hope left, we find Rebecca again, now a woman. Poised and articulate, married to Lucas Findlay and holding a responsible job in the third sector. Rebecca lives in a beautifully designed house with her loving husband, Lucas. But behind closed doors, not everything is as rosy as the outward signs suggest. Neighbours are worried about Rebecca. One of her co-workers is suspicious about the heavy make up Rebecca often wears into work.
Rebecca has secrets, but so does Lucas and they’re about to explode into the open. Because Rebecca is not the only one seeking retribution for the sins in her past.
Rebecca is being watched and it’s clear that someone knows her secrets. Whether for good or ill, the story of Lucas and Rebecca is about to be exposed and the results will be explosive.
Verdict: If you’re searching for a heartwarming Christmas story, you’ll maybe want to try somewhere else. Dark as a coal cellar in winter, this is a book that will have you screaming for emergency kittens. Tense, heart-breaking and suspenseful, this is a powerful debut that packs an enormous, emotive gut punch. I was riveted and appalled; drawn to it and unable to look away. Just send me those kittens soon, please!
Sharon Bairden is the Services Manager in a small, local independent advocacy service and has a passion for human rights; by night she has a passion for all things criminal. She blogs about books at Chapterinmylife and is delighted to be crossing over to the other side of the fence to become a writer. Sharon lives on the outskirts of Glasgow, has two grown up children, a grandson, a Golden Labrador and a cat. She spends most of her spare time doing all things bookish, from reading to attending as many book festivals and launches as she can. She has been known to step out of her comfort zone on the odd occasion and has walked over burning coals and broken glass – but not at the same time!