Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Julie's Review: Center of Gravity

Author: Laura McNeill
Series: None
Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 455
Obtained: Author
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Thriller
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: So real it feels like it was happening to you
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: The truth could cost her everything. Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful. Or is it? When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss. If only Ava could believe her own excuses. Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys. Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town, Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game? Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.

Review: Center of Gravity is a novel about how well we know those we love and the lengths a mother will go to protect/save her kids. Ava and Mitchell seem to have the perfect marriage. Great house, great kids and they seem completely smitten with each other. That is until Mitchell seemingly turns on a dime on Ava. Ava has no clue who this man is that is being rude to her and just leaves the house with the boys. She thinks it's for a few nights while he "cools off". Ava soon finds out that its definitely not temporary.

What happens next is Ava fighting for her reputation, her kids and her life. Once Mitchell turns on her, there really is no going back. She has no time to figure out what went wrong because she's too busy trying to stand on her own two feet. She has no family to count on because from what we are told, she's the black sheep to her southern mother. She really is alone in her fight to prove that she's not what Mitchell says.

As a reader, I never once doubted Ava and her love for both Jack and Sam. I knew that whatever lay ahead of her, she would get through this. Perhaps the unsung hero of the novel is Jack. He is such a brave kid and they way he always protected Sam from his dad. It is also understandable that he did believe his dad at times when it came to Ava. He had been lied to by his dad when the only person he could believe was his dad.

Ms. McNeill has a great knack for pulling you into the story immediately. You want to know what Ava will do to fight back. You want to see her succeed and maybe more than that, you want to see Mitchell get his comeuppance. I loved how she also gave us a glimpse into the future so that we could close the book feeling good.

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Jack's side of the story too. I think that might give us adults a bit of pause into how things really do affect the kids, even if we don't think so. It is a rare author who can get the voice of a child right and Ms. McNeill does is with aplomb. 

If you are looking for tautly written suspense novel to get you through the summer, then look no further than Center of Gravity.



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