Book Review: Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp

Claiming Noah¬†was written by Australian author, Amanda Ortlepp, and is a Women’s Fictional novel with a dash of suspense about two married couples who can’t conceive naturally. The first couple goes through IVF and after their first implant miscarries, they agree to try one more time and donate the third embryo for another couple to adopt. The third embryo is adopted and implanted only a month after the consent papers were signed, instead of the recommended 3-month cooling off period. Thus, the babies are only a month apart in age, and the first couple’s son passes away from SIDS at 3 months while his mother is at a clinic recovering from postpartum depression; the father is under a lot of stress from his wife being away for 3-weeks and then the loss of their son, which result in him doing something completely wrong that he probably wouldn’t have done if he hadn’t be encouraged to do so from a friend that doesn’t have the best track record in his fragile mindset.

That said, the adopted baby (who was kidnapped in a department store) ends up with his biological parents for 21-months until the investigating detective finally tracks down the kidnapper due to irregular medical paperwork on the child when the mother, who didn’t even know her son had passed while she was in the clinic, took him to the doctor for blood work. The blood type didn’t match with the blood that had already been taken from her son, which tipped the detective off. Thus starts a saga of the father being arrested for the kidnapping and the mother filing for custody after the child is taken from her and returned to his legal parents.

I hadn’t read women’s fiction in over a year and I’m fairly picky when it comes to contemporary fiction, so I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to get into it. But I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was nice to read a drama-familial novel, especially one set in Australia when most of the contemporary novels I read are set in the U.S; it gave me a fresh outlook.

Also, it ended on a happy note. A bit cliche, though it was still something that could actually happen and the way it was written in was done in such a way that didn’t make it appear ostentatious. I saw the ending coming a few chapters from the end, but only because I pay attention to even the slightest details while reading. It was a little thing that you had to remember from one of the earlier chapters that was slipped into a later chapter that gave away the twist at the end for me. Both women end up becoming close friends, too.

I recommend this to fans of Jodi Picoult and Kristen Hannah. Goodreads rating: 5 stars

Book Review: Girl Number One by Jane Holland

Girl Number One is a thriller with an unreliable narrator that is the sole witness of her mother’s murder when she’s six-years-old. Flash forward 18 years later and she discovers a dead woman in the same spot her mother was murdered on a morning run through the woods in memory of the anniversary of her mother’s murder with a number 3 written on her forehead.

The story starts off running, in every sense of the word, and you can’t help but keep reading because you know as little as Ellie, the unreliable narrator, knows. The serial killer ends up being one of Ellie’s friends… also a relation of her mother’s murderer, who had died of cancer a handful of years ago. But this relation decided to finish what the murderer had started and targeted Ellie as his number 1.

I recommend this story for those who love a good sensational thriller. Fans of Girl on the Train may enjoy this read. My rating on goodreads: 3.5 – 4 stars