blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: My Secret Sister – Lauren Westwood

Two DNA tests, one big lie…
“As I speed off in the ambulance holding my daughter’s hand, I wonder how I could have been so stupid. I should have made the bargain, paid the price – anything to avoid being right here, right now.
A voice whispers in my head that I can’t silence. This is all your fault. You killed her. It’s her voice, the one I hear in my nightmares. The woman who stole my memories, the woman who stole my life.
And, this time, I know she’s right.”
How far would you go to save your child?
Claire is living every mother’s worst nightmare. Her daughter, Jess, has been diagnosed with a rare illness and desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. With no match on the registry, Claire turns to a charismatic geneticist for help and embarks on a Genetic Journey to seek a familial match for her daughter.
On the other side of the country, Marianne suffers her eighth miscarriage. Her perfect life is rotting underneath, but she is determined to do whatever it takes to have a baby.
When DNA test results reveal that Claire and Marianne are half-sisters, Claire must face the dark lies of the past and make impossible choices about the future. Is her secret sister the answer to her prayers, or will she cost her everything?
My Secret Sister is a tense and emotional family drama with a moral dilemma at its heart. Fans of Liane Moriarty, Jodi Picoult, and John Marrs’ The One will be gripped.

My books explore the darkness and the light of the human spirit, and take you on an emotional journey. My Sister’s Secret is a tense and emotional drama about a mother’s race against time to save her daughter’s life. My Mother’s Silence is a gripping and romantic drama about homecoming and family secrets set in the wild Scottish highlands. It was shortlisted for the Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award 2020. The Daughter She Lost is a dark journey of self-discovery and overcoming the secrets of the past. My holiday romance Moonlight on the Thames is a love story to classical music and the healing power of love. It was a bestseller in urban fiction and top 100 Kindle book. My first three novels: Finding Home, Finding Secrets and Finding Dreams all feature mysterious old houses and intelligent, feisty contemporary heroines who set out to unravel the mysteries of the past. I also write award winning children’s books as Laurel Remington. I am originally from California, and now live in Surrey, UK with my partner and three daughters.

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My thoughts: I’m a bit dubious about these DNA ancestry websites and this book doesn’t make me any less sceptical. Maybe it’s because I worked on the admin side of a blood testing lab for a bit and know a little about how complicated DNA matching actually is, and how hard it can be to find a match, even when lives are at stake, so the idea a tiny cheek swab can tell you your entire family history makes me concerned.

In this case it throws up a lot of problems, both Claire and Marianne think they knew their dad, their family, and discovering they didn’t is a shock. In the end it isn’t the worst thing ever, but it takes time to get there and there are lots more lies, misunderstandings and heartbreak to get through first. Turns out their shared father is basically a terrible person, and not that great a dad or husband. Both women are already dealing with a lot. Claire’s youngest daughter has a rare life threatening disease, her eldest is struggling to find her place and Marianne’s dreams of being a mum appear to be all but over, and her marriage too.

What the two are going through are terrible things, but finding each other, even accidentally, might just be something good after all the sadness. Moving and shocking, this book is full of secrets and hardship but ultimately it’s about family.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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