Missing Pieces by Laura Pearson @LauraPAuthor @AgoraBooksLDN #mrsbloggsbooks

The Blurb

A gripping, devastating, heart-stealing read.’ — Tamsin Grey

What if the one thing that kept you together was breaking you apart?

All Linda wants to do is sleep. She won’t look at her husband. She can’t stand her daughter. And she doesn’t want to have this baby. Having this baby means moving on, and she just wants to go back to before. Before their family was torn apart, before the blame was placed.

Alienated by their own guilt and struggling to cope, the Sadler family unravels. They grow up, grow apart, never talking about their terrible secret.

That is until Linda’s daughter finds out she’s pregnant. Before she brings another Sadler into the world, Bea needs to know what happened twenty-five years ago. What did they keep from her? What happened that couldn’t be fixed?

A devastating mistake, a lifetime of consequences. How can you repair something broken if pieces are missing?

‘I’ve not stopped thinking about Missing Pieces… it’s such a good book. Heartbreaking and hopeful.’ — Amanda Berriman

‘A stunningly assured debut that explores the ripples of a terrible family tragedy on the surviving fragile members. Beautifully written and surprisingly life-affirming.’ — Sarah Pinborough

‘A convincing, patient portrait of loss – beautifully written.’ — Fiona Mitchell

‘Elegant, honest and breathtakingly beautiful, Missing Pieces is an impressive and raw portrayal of how one tragedy affects an entire family.’ — Christina McDonald

‘Missing Pieces is fabulous.’ — Jane Shemilt

My Review

I read this book during the Christmas holidays after seeing the positive mentions by several other readers and book bloggers on Twitter.

Once I started reading it I was totally drawn into the story and wanted to discover what exactly had happened.

The book begins at the funeral of a young child called Phoebe. It becomes apparent that her death was accidental. Her older sister Esme is at the funeral and stays close to her father Poignantly, each of the chapters in the book begin with the number of days since Phoebe’s death.

The all consuming grief by the family is palpable and heart rending. Linda, who is pregnant with their third child can no longer function properly. She starts to drink heavily. The couple draw apart, each completely unable to console the other, or forgive themselves. Her husband takes over the child care of Esme. Each family member feels guilt and shame. Some of the family members feel blame towards the others. Who was ultimately responsible and whose fault it was is revealed slowly throughout the book but not before another tragedy rocks the family to the core.

I can’t believe this book is a debut. The writing is divine. The cleverness of the plot is superb. Following the family throughout this turbulent heartbreaking time was just so beautifully described by the author. Even though this was a sad subject, at no time did it feel mawkish in any way. The characters were believable and the psychological impact of the tragedy was sensitively described.

I loved how the events of the tragic day were eventually revealed in the form of a series of letters, leaving the reader in suspense until near to the very end of the book.

I read the book in time to include it in my Outstanding Books Of The Year and it’s place in that list was very well deserved.

Highly recommended.

About The Author

Laura Pearson has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. She lives in Leicestershire with her husband and their two children. Missing Pieces is her first novel.

To Purchase via Amazon UK

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