eBook review copy, 400 pages
A Necessary End by Holly Brown is a very highly recommended, dark, sometimes funny, sometimes perversely skewed novel of psychological suspense about an adoption among disagreeable people.
Adrienne, a 39 year old 2nd grade teacher, is desperate to be a mom. She is a member of a web site dedicated to connecting potential parents with a birth mother. She and Gabe, her husband, work on a profile that she is sure will attract a birth mom and they will get the baby she wants more than anything. She thought she had arranged an adoption before with a birth mother, but that didn't work out. She is sure this time will work. They have written the perfect profile page.
Gabe, a car salesman, isn't quite sure he wants to be a father, but he does know that he wants to keep Adrienne happy. If looking for a baby will do that, then hopefully it won't interfere too much with his recreational poker playing. But he was used to Adrienne always putting him first...
When 19 year old Leah responds to their profile and has Adrienne fly her out to California, she has an agenda of her own. Leah looks like a prettier, younger Adrienne and she claims the birth father looks like Gabe. Leah has some unconventional demands. If the baby gets to live in California, she wants to live there too and she expects Adrienne and Gabe to make it happen - if they want the baby. She wants to live with them for a year, be paid $400 a month, and they have to pay for health insurance costs for her and the baby. Then, after a year, Leah will sign the adoption papers for the baby Adrienne is sure the baby is a boy and that it is meant to be her son.
Even though their lawyer advised them against it, Adrienne, Gabe, and Leah sign a contract containing all of Leah's stipulations. What could possibly go wrong?
Admittedly all these characters are unlikeable, self-centered, and calculating, so why did I enjoy this novel so much? I wanted to shake every last character here and tell them, "Snap out of it!" and then ask,"Why would you agree to that?" and "What's wrong with you?" Oh, but then things started to get darker and diabolical and twisty and nothing is quite as it seems. I'll admit I raced through this novel and stayed up way-to-late finishing it. It is that good. This is a perfect stuck-overnight-at-the-airport book!
The presentation and the writing is perfect. The chapter alternate between Adrienne and Gabe narrating the story. Also included are past conversations of Adrienne with the failed first birth mother and their relationship. While this is ostensibly a book about birth mothers and a couple looking for a baby, it becomes a much different novel as more facts are revealed. Just when I started to get comfortable, a new little fact would be revealed that made me sit up and think, "What...?" Assume nothing while reading A Necessary End, but make sure you read it.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of HarperCollins for review purposes.
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