Monday, June 22, 2015

If Only by Norma Budden

Genre: Adult Realistic Fiction, Paranormal
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own

"If Only." How many times have we looked back on some aspect of our life and thought those words. After reading this book I realized that I'd heard those very words in my own family. After my husband and I married, our second for each of us, he kept  telling me he felt like he had a kid “out there”.  When he was seventeen his girlfriend got pregnant. They argued.  He went back to her house a week later to work things out and was told his girlfriend had miscarried and they didn’t want him around any more. Fast forward twenty one years. My husband received an email from his former girlfriend’s father stating she had died and they needed to talk.  He immediately called and said, “I have a kid don’t I?”  His daughter contacted him.  She had been told he was dead.  Standing graveside at her mother’s funeral her grandfather told her he knew where her biological father was.  Her first question to her grandfather was “why”.  She wanted to know why they had told her this lie and at the same time kept tabs on his life.  After all, she lived in Illinois and he lived in Florida.   Not more than a month later we saw his aunt at a store. They both had been told the other was dead.  Her next comment was, "I know where your father is." He'd never known his father.  His father had spent his entire life looking for him.  My husband got to meet him and learned he had three sisters and a brother.  I immediately saw the parallels with this book.  I love when art, in this case writing, imitates life.

Norma Budden has created a story with characters that are very believable.    A young girl (Demi)  gets pregnant in high school and then gives the baby up for adoption.  The father of the child (David)  never knows about the baby because she didn’t want to “ruin his life”.

Sixteen years later both Demi and David have married and have families of their own.   Demi starts having premonitions that she needs to find her daughter.  They grow stronger and stronger.  She hasn’t had any luck with the private investigators she has hired so she has to find another way.  The plan she comes up with is to get in touch with David who is now a detective.  This means she has to tell him the secret she kept from him all those years.  This also means she is going to have to tell her husband.  If David accepts the job he is going to have to tell his wife.  

There was a  lot of heartache in this book.   The  parallels between the book and the real life story of so many other people make it believable.  You don’t have to worry  about the paranormal aspect of the book, because it is light and wonderfully handled. The visits come in the form of dreams.  I am hoping there will be at least a sequel to this book.  I’d like to know what happens next to David and Demi.  I’d also like to hear Alexis’ side of the story. What was it like growing up forher.  There is so much more we can learn.  I would also like to know what happens to Alexis and Kevin.  I definitely recommend this book to everyone who loves real life drama with a side of paranormal. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words. It never ceases to amaze me how people interpret the book differently and how aspects of it have touched some people in a profound way.

    My plan was to have this book as a stand-alone title but several people have mentioned their desire to read more about the characters. I guarantee, should they share more about their lives with me, I'll be sure to spread the news. :)