Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

I must admit that this is the first book I have read by this author.  It was given as a Christmas gift and after scanning the synopsis on the back, I wasn’t feeling very enthusiastic about it.  It seemed predictable and familiar, as if this story has already been told by others.  In short, a woman discovers her child’s likeness on a missing child flyer and begins to question the authenticity of her adoption of him.

I’m happy to announce that, in spite of my initial misgivings, I truly enjoyed this book.  In fact, I devoured it – beginning and finishing it the same day.  (Okay, technically, I finished it in the wee hours of the next morning.)  I expected a drama, but what I read was a suspenseful thriller involving a smart, truth-seeking heroine – mother - with an unwavering moral compass. 

The mother, Ellen Gleeson, is a journalist – a hunter of the truth who cannot stop the investigation into her son’s identity, even if it means losing him forever.  She is intelligently written as someone who questions her morals, her rights as an adoptive parent, and her family’s advice, but ultimately follows her heart.  How can she live with the knowledge that another mother is desperately searching for her son? 

She struggles with what it means to be a mother – the unbreakable bond, the undying love, and the often heart-wrenching decisions made in the best interest of the child.  She imagines the loss the abducted child’s mother must feel.  She feels it herself with thoughts of her son being taken back.  What she doesn’t expect is the deceit and corruption surrounding the situation.  In her pursuit of justice, she finds herself deeply entwined in a conspiracy with fatal consequences. 

In this novel, nothing is as it seems, but Ellen’s search for the truth is methodical and intelligent, although her dilemma itself is heartbreaking.  The author deftly depicts the love between Ellen and her son, Will, through the realistic dialogue, laughter, and frustrations, which come with motherhood. 

Even if you aren’t a mother, this is worth the read.  It is a quick, entertaining book, which does leave you with the questions.  What if it was your child?  Would you search for the truth and risk everything?  Or would you quietly discard the flyer and live life as if nothing has changed, keeping your family together?

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