The Shadow Child

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Pub Date 14 Apr 2022 | Archive Date Not set

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Can you ever escape from the shadows of your past?

'Weaves a beautiful, tense and compelling tale of relationships, of secrets, loss and grief, but ultimately of the power of love. I couldn't put it down!' Sam Blake

The narrative is multi-layered and bound by emotional integrity.' Candis

'A compelling story of love, relationships, and the grief of two families suffering traumatic losses.' Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Eighteen-year-old Emma has loving parents and a promising future ahead of her.

So why, one morning, does she leave home without a trace?

Her parents, Cath and Jim, are devastated. They have no idea why Emma left, where she is - or even whether she is still alive.

A year later, Cath and Jim are still tormented by the unanswered questions Emma left behind, and clinging desperately to the hope of finding her.

Meanwhile, tantalisingly close to home, Emma is also struggling with her new existence - and with the trauma that shattered her life.

For all of them, reconciliation seems an impossible dream. Does the way forward lie in facing up to the secrets of the past - secrets that have been hidden for years?

Secrets that have the power to heal them, or to destroy their family forever ...


'I couldn't put it down!' Sam Blake

'A well-written story covering loss, grief (in many forms), adultery and murder.' The Sleepy Reader

'Make sure you have plenty of tissues nearby, you are going to need them.' Bunnys Pause

'An engaging and emotional read with well-developed characters thrown into an unimaginable situation.' Duvet Dwellers

'A touching and engaging read.' Sharon Beyond the Books

'A compelling, complex book about the twisting paths of life, loss and hope.' Bookmarks and Stages

'A wonderful, heartfelt book that all mothers will be able to identify with.' Cookie Biscuit

'A compelling debut about the complexities and nuances that make us human.' Emma's Biblio Treasures

'Beautifully written and I can't recommend it enough, it's just so brilliant!' Two Ladies and a Book

'I loved this book.' Varietats

'Overall I thought this was an excellent read, and one I couldn't put down!' Books Cats Etc

'In a time when our mental health is the focus point and trying to get people to talk, this book just hits that point home.' Bestie Books and Brews

'I just couldn't put this down and I really didn't want it to end.' A Cottage Full of Books

'It's original, engaging and very absorbing I highly recommend you read this book!' Gemzy9

'It kept me turning the pages as I was drawn into all their lives.' LibcReads

'Tantalising, thought-provoking, rich with survival, heartache and the possessiveness secrets hold over their owner.' Lost in her Bookland

'The characters all have sorrow and secrets to hide, yet Hancox weaves their lives together in a very clever way that shows the skill of her writing.' Paradise is a Library

'At times whilst reading you nearly have to close your eyes and try to grasp where this story is taking you in terms of emotion.' Book Reviews for U

'A book full of emotion, and a really great read.' Curling up with a coffee

'An immersive read that weaves a magical spell on readers that will keep them entranced and on the edge of their seats until the very last page.' Bookish Jottings

'A truly lovely story that I would absolutely recommend.' Kim's Reading Adventure

'I loved the way the book forces perspective by looking at the situation from different points of view, and the ending is a real tearjerker.' Sarah Wood

Can you ever escape from the shadows of your past?

'Weaves a beautiful, tense and compelling tale of relationships, of secrets, loss and grief, but ultimately of the power of love. I couldn't put it...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781529136043
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 96 members

Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed this book, it was well paced with a good storyline and well developed characters. I was gripped right from the start and I couldnt put it down I had to know what the secret was and how it played out. There were sensitive issues in the book that were dealt with very well. I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading more by this author.

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Deep characterisation and psychology of all the characters sucks us into their worlds with empathy and a sense of caring for each of the characters which is quite a feat.. Plausible, could happen to any of us. Lots of unexpected twists. A great read - riveting from cover to cover and explores many topics that warrant a book club style debate ranging from whether parents can stop what at first sight seems like an "insignificant" event in their child's early life from dominating their character formation, to whether or not a famous name shapes someone's character and what white lies are ok if any in a relationship. I will be suggesting this book at my book club.

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A really great read. When Emma disappears from home her parents are devastated and they struggle with their grief of losing their daughter. The story has lots of depths and some interesting characters who blend well into the story. It involves two families who are both facing difficulties and there are plenty of issues from all thier pasts that have to be resolved before they can finally find happiness .I enjoyed this story and really recommend it

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A really good read! Well-drawn characters who one gets to know (and like) early in the novel - I found I really cared about what happened to them. Themes explore what it means to feel incomplete and the power of feeling needed in healing emotional wounds. I will definitely be recommending this book to friends and family.

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I couldn't put it down! A really absorbing and compelling read, that gets you quickly involved with the characters. Two couples, of different generations, whose lives become entangled for reasons that are partly hidden. A young woman in danger, fighting her demons, and struggling to emerge whole into adulthood, after loss and trauma. Secrets. Places of refuge. All really well woven together in a pacy plot that keeps the pages turning, while never sacrificing depth or richness. An insightful and perceptive book that is not only hugely enjoyable, but that makes you stop and think about the issues it raises long after you have finished it. Highly recommended!
#TheShadowChild #NetGalley

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I very much enjoyed this novel. It had such tenderness for its characters on their journeys, bravely tackling the challenges and mysteries family relations. Their voices were so clear, and sincerely expressed, I felt I really got inside their heads. As a mother, I related very strongly to the main mother, Cath, but was also moved by the younger women also caught up in wanting babies and making babies. Along this central axis move children and men, all of whom feel very true to life. Hancox does not shy away from their inner world, however complex. All have real, human failings and weaknesses. There is a lovely pace to the story-telling, with more contemplative passages in the middle gradually giving way to a younger, faster plot. The denouement moved me to tears.

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A great book about people and their relationships.

The two main female characters are relatable and I really enjoyed getting an insight in to their lives.

The story is told really beautifully told and the mystery element is told slowly and keeps you gripped.

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I really enjoyed this book. It kept me gripped all the way through and I could feel what the family were experiencing. A dark story but, not the sort of story that made me uncomfortable. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

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Such an emotional read. The author brilliantly weaves different people's stories, with many tear inducing moments along the way, to a satisfactory ending.

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