My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott

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Beautifully written, Atmospheric and a rollercoaster of emotions

1958 A perfect summer, a young woman in love and having the time of her life.
1999 A family come together on the 1st anniversary of their mother’s death.
This book is written in dual narrative, Addie who is the oldest out of her 2 other siblings, and then through diaries written by their mother Elizabeth Harrington in the 1950’s.
Present day the Harrington family, Graham, the father and his three grown up children, Adele (Addie) Venetia who is heavily pregnant and Jasper all come together on the anniversary of their mother’s death.
Addie’s dad has been struggling since his wife passed away and isn’t in the best of health at the moment so when a stranger arrives on the doorstep looking for Elizabeth Harrington/Holloway claiming that Elizabeth was her mother Addie makes sure none of that reaches her dads ears.
Phoebe claims that she was adopted as a baby and that she was born at exactly the same time and date as Addie which would mean if all of it was true the two ladies are twins!
Obviously Addie and Venetia don’t believe any of it, even with the few bits Phoebe has brought with her. But seeing the writing in the journal, her mum’s writing finally makes Addie want to know more, about how could her mum give up just one of the babies and why did her parents lie to her. As far as she knew her parents were married before she came along but after searching through her parents house with the aid of her best childhood friend Andrew they find her parents marriage certificate along with a birth certificate with only her mothers name on it, the date of birth and the box for father’s name left blank, the certificate didn’t even have a name for the baby so the child’s name was documented as “Baby”
Addie whole life has just been turned upside-down and the only person who could have told them everything has taken the secrets to the grave with her.
As the twins start digging into their mothers history trying to make all the puzzle parts fit they begin to form a bond, a bond that only twins understand.
1958 – Elizabeth Holloway’s own mum Constance is dying of cancer, the doctors have told them that nothing else can be done for her now except keep her comfortable.
Elizabeth had always been close to her mother and had taken up reading sat at her bedside, reading to her, listening to things her dad didn’t approve of and under her mum’s strict instructions try to attend to her mother’s garden, bringing in roses, bringing some of the outside inside so her mum could smell it and imagine she was out in the garden.
So it came as a massive shock when she was told she was going to be sent away for the summer to stay with friends of her mother.
Her mum told her of all the wonderful times she had from her visits there and made Elizabeth promise to have fun, enjoy the countryside and to not worry about her!
Elizabeth didn’t want to leave her mum, not when she was so gravely ill but her parents insisted so she had no choice but to go.
At first she couldn’t settle, couldn’t stop worrying about her mum and decided that it would be inappropriate to be having fun why her mum was almost on death’s door.
But gradually not being happy became impossible with the Shaw family and the other young people staying there.
She learns how to ride a horse, swim and there were no strict rules and regulations. If you were late for breakfast it didn’t matter, she was just served it up whenever she found her way to the dining room.
On her 17th birthday she didn’t think anyone knew and she certainly hadn’t told anyone but to her delight they had a beautiful birthday cake waiting for her, presents and they had arranged a birthday party just for her.
And it was this birthday she received her first kiss! She fell deeply in love but in the end it all came crashing down around her. She found herself single and pregnant which in those times was nothing short of a scandal!
Addie and Phoebe slowly uncover layers of the past it takes us on that rollercoaster of emotions with them.
This book is certainly very engaging and evocative with strong likeable characters, some not so much! With twists and turns, surprises and mysteries, some coming as a bit of a shock!
This is a story about families, family secrets, identities, betrayal and how the past impacts on the future.
I really enjoyed this book, i was a bit wary when advertised for fans of Kate Morton but i was pleasantly surprised by this book, the writing is just sublime and it is hard to believe this is Nikola Scott’s first novel.
Perfect rainy duvet day book 🙂
This book can be purchaed now from

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