Book Review : My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott – an emotional rollercoaster about family secrets

September 21, 2017 Book review 3 ★★★★

Do you like family secrets, characters to root for, and a book that whisks you away on an emotional rollercoaster?  If you’re nodding your head, then My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott is a book you need to take note of.

Book Review :  My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott – an emotional rollercoaster about family secretsMy Mother's Shadow: The gripping novel about a lost child, a mother's secret and one golden summer by Nikola Scott
Published by Headline Review on September 21st 2017
Genres: Family Life, Historical Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

It is the year 1958 and Elizabeth Holloway has been sent away from her London home to spend the summer at Hartland, a beautiful, rambling country estate by the Sussex coast. To lovely, innocent Elizabeth, the Shaws are the height of sophistication and they treat her as one of their own, but when she falls in love, no one warns her that her dreams are dangerously naïve.

Forty years later, Elizabeth’s daughter Addie finds a stranger on her doorstep, a woman claiming to be her twin sister. At first, Addie refuses to believe it -- until her beloved father admits that the circumstances surrounding her birth were not what she'd been led to believe.

The discovery challenges everything Addie thought she knew about the brilliant, difficult woman that was her mother. And as their journey takes them back to Elizabeth's past, Addie and her new sister Phoebe uncover the extraordinary story of a lost child, a mother’s secret, and one golden summer that changed a woman’s life forever.

ARC REVIEW Historical Page-Turner Tear Jerker

Balancing the books is a quick fire review where I list the assets and liabilities of a book (as I see them) and leave you decide if you think this book is worth investing in.


The Assets of My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott:

  • Mother/Daughter theme :  I lap up mother/daughter themes in books.  And I loved that a loving relationship was present, but there was also a strained relationship.  It wasn’t a cruel one, but rather a situation where they didn’t understand each other, and wound each other up.  Both bonds were fascinating to read about.


  • Swoony cover:  Scorn all you want!  I’m a shallow book-cover-magpie and I can never resist a gorgeous cover.  The image on this one, of a girl crossing from a dark depressing world into a happier, light-filled zone captures the tone of the book perfectly.


  • Secrets: Family secrets lure me.  I want to dig deep, and uncover every hidden detail.  Watching the search for the truth, and the subsequent fallout that rocked the family made this a book that I wanted to keep reading and reading.


  • Emotional Rollercoaster:  I loved how the author wove all the emotions in to the story in such a way that I felt them all.  I was giddy during the fun summer, broken at the misery some characters endured, frustrated at how gullible one naïve girl was, enraged by a useless father, confused by the shocking appearance of new family members, and in love with how a sister bond developed.   All the moods, and all the feels made this a very emotionally satisfying read.


The Liabilities of My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott:


  • Rambling sentences:  Some sentences were overly rambling, and long-winded.  It was something I noted, but it didn’t overly hinder my enjoyment of the work.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Investment potential of My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott:

If you like the sound of a contemporary/recent historical fiction mash-up and a heartfelt plot, then this might be just the book for you.  Or if you are a fan of authors like Kate Morton, or Julia Crouch, then you might also like this one.

Thanks to NetGalley and Headline Review for giving me a copy of this book for review consideration.  As always, no matter what the source of the book, you get my honest, unbiased opinion.














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3 Responses to “Book Review : My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott – an emotional rollercoaster about family secrets”

  1. Angela

    I was loving the sound of this book all through your review, and then I saw you recommended it for fans of Kate Morton – definitely adding it to my TBR now! Morton is one of my favorite authors, and I love stories about families and secrets.
    Angela recently posted…Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Invictus

  2. Jessica

    Honestly when I saw the premise for this novel I was like, oh, I think I’ll like this! And seeing your review–and the comparisons to Kate Morton–I am DEFINITELY adding this to my TBR list/wishlist.

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