The Missing Pieces of Us Book Review

The Missing Pieces of Us Book Review

What is this about?: Three women, well two women and a teenager, search for what’s missing in their lives. The author explores adoption in two very different scenarios and what it means to be a teenager navigating life and things like sexting and peer pressure.

What else is this about?: That about covers it, I think. There’s plenty in there as it is.

Stars: 3 

Blurb: Sometimes you have to resolve the past before you can face the future. The moving and heart-warming new novel from Fleur McDonald.

Lauren Ramsey was adopted at birth. Now a teacher, her mantra is to never let a child fall through the cracks. But she’s so concerned about the welfare of a little boy in her kindy class she doesn’t notice that her teenage daughter needs help.

At fourteen, Skye Ramsey is on the cusp of womanhood, but she’s also teetering on the edge of an abyss. Battling with the usual pressures faced by a teenage girl, including the pitfalls of social media, she’s flirting with outright rebellion.

As a child, Tamara Thompson felt unloved and overlooked. She’s now the manager of a successful business and has a partner who adores her, but her fear of rejection is threatening to overwhelm her.

All three women are searching for a happier future, but the answers may lie in shedding light on secrets from the past.

From the bestselling author of Red Dust and Crimson Dawn, comes a moving and intriguing novel about love, friendship and how the truth can set us free.

This is the story of Lauren, her daughter Skye, and Tamara, who find themselves battling their own issues, while becoming ever more involved in each other’s lives. The book starts strong, building a good story about a mother and daughter at odds and a woman trying to come to terms with an abusive past and how it still affects her present. While the HEA is one these characters no doubt deserve, the book loses steam as it heads towards the ending, as it ignores some delicious potential with these characters.

Lauren and Skye

Lauren is the long-suffering mother of Skye, who is in the brat stage of her teenage years. She hates everything and everyone by all appearances. She ignores her mother, listens somewhat to her father and goads her brother all the time simply because he’s a good guy. Yes, she’s that kind of brat. Lauren wants to reach her, but is distracted by a kid at school and then her own health issues. With that comes her contemplating her search for her biological parents.

Of the two, Skye’s is the more engrossing, with her navigating some serious peer pressure and a guy she wants to believe loves her. He’s her refuge from her family where she never seems to do anything right. Her mother’s health issues cause her to act out which is when Tamara comes into their lives.

Tamara

I think is the better character of the adults in this story. She’s got a heap of issues that the author works at giving a history to, and a perspective for readers as Tamara tries to figure things out. Lauren is very passive in a way, and I’m still trying to decide if that’s necessary. It’s with Skye that you can see Lauren come to life, wanting to protect her daughter but it’s here that Tamara can help while Lauren can’t.

This is where the book fails these characters, I think, Lauren especially. I mean, here is this stranger reaching her daughter when she can’t. Thing is any mum would also do whatever it takes to reach the daughter, even if it means letting another woman do it. The book focuses too much on that aspect, I think, without giving Lauren a chance cto completely be upset about that.

Lauren and Tamara

Are both adopted and experienced very different lives. I think the book neglects to highlight that more, to explore what it would mean for the other to see the good or bad lives they’ve each had and let the characters be emotional, resentful or whatever about it.

Is it me?

I ended up giving this a 3 because of the lack of oomph, but I needed to acknowledge that at it’s core, this is still a heartwarming story that touches on important topics, even if it doesn’t – to me at least – do it justice. This is the kind of book you can easily read when you’re feeling down and feel satisfied that somewhere, someone’s got their happy ending.

8 Comments

  • Kelly says:

    This could have been a really touching read but it feels really lacking in emotion for me Verushka. I think given the circumstances, Lauren seems awfully unattached to what’s going on and I can imagine most women and mothers would be effected by another women bonding with their daughter when they cannot. Maybe there’s just too much going on. It definitely sounds interesting but I’m not sure it would be for me unfortunately. Wonderful review nonetheless hun <3 <3

    • Verushka says:

      You’re right — I’ve been wracking my brains over this one, because there are times when it’s on the cusp of giving me the emotion it should, and then steps away from the edge. I think Fleur McDonald is an established author in her genre, and she’s writing for that — and there’s an audience there for that. Not you and probably not me, but I’m glad I gave this a go. I’m trying to widen my reading and to think about reviews differently when I’m writing them. Did I like this no? But I can’t deny that there’s goodness here, even if it’s not quite my cup of tea

  • Sorry it lacked some impact for you. It sounds like an okay read – not necessarily something I’d gravitate toward. It’s interesting that you found Skye’s story line to be intriguing since she DOES sound like quite a brat. haha

    • Verushka says:

      I think it’s filled with missed opportunities for me as a reader, and the HEA was a bit too HEA … and lol you are right, her brattiness made her interesting! I did appreciate the author took her out of the bratty stage instead of letting it go for too long.

  • Greg says:

    This sounds like it has a lot of potential and really touches on some important issues facing teens and women today. I think I might connect with Skye’s story a bit as teen pressures can be so intense and parents often have no idea what’s going on. And you sound spot on about Lauren and how maybe the story doesn’t quite do her justice? Glad this was such a thought provoking read.

  • Hm. I does sound good, or the potential to be better. Not sure if I’d grab it anytime in the near future, though. Great review!

  • Lily says:

    well, at least it was still okay. Could have been worse. Sorry it lacked the oomph. Glad you still had an easy page turner. I myself am not sure how I would feel about Skye

  • Oh dear, it’s disappointing when the book sounds like it had so much potential and yet just couldn’t deliver for you! I’ve seen a couple of her books at the library and have been contemplating them but I’m also laden with arcs still and feel I should be getting on with those!

    Thanks for being so in depth with your review – I might still give this one a try when I find the time!

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