My Review:

5 of 5 stars

The Secret Mother is the first of Shalini Boland’s books I’ve read, and I’m extremely pleased!  It’s the kind of book with the kind of characters that I just want to dissect every little part of. I’m one hundred percent satisfied with the character development, it’s perfect. Tessa’s character is brilliantly written. She’s layered perfectly. The plot of the entire book unravels itself at a very clever pace. Each imperative detail is strategically placed in the perfect spots. The writing style is admirably straight forward, the picture is drawn beautifully, the plot is unfolded very neatly before your eyes as a reader. It’s impeccable, I love that!

The book starts out with the main character Tessa coming home to a child in her home. He seems completely at ease there, is drawing a picture of her, and when she walks in he asks her if she’s his Mummy. What a powerful start, right? From here everything spirals. Tessa is forced through a long journey of sorting out her past as well as trying to make sense of the boy.

One odd thing about this boy is that his entire origin seems off. Something about him is a very intriguing mystery.

A few things that I really like about the book is that Tessa isn’t so sure about her sanity. She seems to recollect her past as well as detailed events as they play out, but then she questions herself. This quality about Tessa keeps you kind of guessing, and it really adds to her persona. I also really like the way her co-workers, neighbor, boss, and ex-husband’s characters are so in depth. Everyone who is woven in and out of Tessa’s life is perfectly developed. Even the way the news reporters, the hateful assumptive public, and all the media in general are portrayed in a way that really fits.

As Tessa’s psyche unravels, it becomes very clear that the pockets in her emotional baggage are extremely deep. Her maternal instincts are impeccable. This book has undeniably won itself a spot amongst my favorite psychological family dramas. I absolutely loved it! This is a must read!

Thank you NetGalley and the Publisher for a free copy of this book for my honest review.


Tessa Markham comes home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa comes under suspicion for snatching the child. She must fight to prove her innocence. But how can she convince everyone she’s not guilty when even those closest to her are questioning the truth? And when Tessa doesn’t even trust herself…

A chilling, unputdownable thriller with a dark twist that will take your breath away and make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Sister.