Now You See Her
losing another mother’s child
Released out now author Heidi Perks publisher Century available in Hardback
Motherhood can be both a challenging and rewarding experience, something that author Heidi Perks describes in great detail and with huge empathy from multiple perspectives. Whether it’s by immediate family members, other mums in the playground, complete strangers or on social media, everyone seems to have an opinion on the right way to raise children. A recent study conducted by Cardiff University, which interviewed mothers and grandmothers, drew the conclusion that this generation are under significantly more scrutiny.
With all that in mind, this gripping crime thriller investigates the response to one mother losing another mother’s child. When Harriet trusts her close friend Charlotte to take care of her daughter Alice on the day of a busy school fete, the girl disappears. The story is split into two sections, with the story told from both Charlotte and Harriet’s points of view as the police search for the missing child. As the story switches between before and after the disappearance, the characters are effectively shaded in to revealing ends, as is their friendship and relationships with the fathers of their children.
Charlotte is a single mother who is doing her best to raise three children while dealing with the fallout from her marriage. Her ex- husband is supportive with child care, but their underlying trust issues prove to be a hurdle. Harriet is still with her husband, and unlike Charlotte hasn’t been able to infiltrate the social gatherings of the school mums. Her friendship with Charlotte is the one relationship outside her marriage, and though she mostly keeps her personal life to herself, she is glad to have such an understanding confidante. Police questioning and a harsh media response to Charlotte places the blame on her, and as her mothering is scrutinised her anxiety levels rise, and her friends stop calling.
What’s most striking is the way in which Perks holds back judgement and convincingly places the reader in the position of the women who are suffering through a distressing ordeal. You really do feel their pain, terror and plight, with the novel conveying the strength and generosity of women who genuinely care for one another. It’s an empowering story that suggests supportive relationships between women can only be a positive thing, and praises those who have the courage to stand up and be vocal, while recognising that many women may not have the same freedom.
this... investigates the response to one mother losing another mother’s child