Tangled Lives. Hilary Boyd. Quercus Publishing PLC. July 2015. 336 pp. ISBN#: 9781623658212.
Annie Delancy has spent years wondering what happened to the baby she gave up for adoption when she was a young girl, immature, unsure, and easily swayed by her family who didn’t want the disgrace. So now when she is contacted by a Social Services agency, she discovers that her adult son wants to meet her.
This is the story of her rediscovery. It begins with nothing but absolute joy and a sense that all will be well now that she has all of her family with her. At first her other children agree and cooperate with her every wish. Her husband is stunned but realizes how important this reunion is to his cherished wife.
The picture begins to gradually change as all Annie can think about is Daniel and sprigs of jealousy arise from each family member. Add to the increasing tension a violent act that may or may not be true and one begins to experience the unraveling of Annie’s dreams. Some aspects of Daniel’s life remain secret until after a pivotal family conflict!
Hilary Boyd paces this all too real story, even though it’s in fictional form, very well. She manages to include many issues about adopted children in a highly credible fashion. While it’s not a happily-ever-after story, it is the account of a family who each has to navigate some tumultuous waters as this reunion of mother and son transforms the family connections. Each discovers something about each other and his or her own self – mentally, emotionally and even physically. Honesty isn’t always the best thing, especially when it arrives faster than the psyche can handle it. Some questions and problems about this issue will remain forever while others will be healed in many expected and unexpected.
There are some stereotypical moments but the quality of each character engaging with the rest of the family keeps the plot moving and engaging the reader. A positive contribution to a vulnerable topic for all too many family! Nicely done, indeed, Hilary Boyd!