About the Book:
When Lilia Swallow's husband, Graham, goes into remission after a challenging year of treatment for lymphoma, the home and lifestyle blogger throws a party. Their best friends and colleagues attend to celebrate his recovery, but just as the party is in full swing, a new guest arrives. She presents Lilia with a beautiful baby boy, and vanishes.
Toby is Graham's darkest secret—his son, conceived in a moment of despair. Lilia is utterly unprepared for the betrayal the baby represents, and perhaps more so for the love she begins to feel once her shock subsides. Now this unasked-for precious gift becomes a life changer for three women: Lilia, who takes him into her home and heart; Marina, who bore and abandoned him until circumstance and grief changed her mind; and Ellen, who sees in him a chance to correct the mistakes she made with her own son, Toby's father.
A custody battle begins, and each would-be mother must examine her heart, confront her choices and weigh her dreams against the fate of one vulnerable little boy. Each woman will redefine family, belonging and love—and the results will alter the course of not only their lives, but also the lives of everyone they care for.
Emilie Richards is one of my favorite authors and The Swallow's Nest is yet another example of why I like her books.
Most of Emilie Richard's characters are very human, with good and bad sides. Lilia loves her husband but is understandably upset when she learns he has cheated on her, especially considering that she has basically put her life on hold for the last year to care for him as he underwent cancer treatment. I do like her attitude that what happened wasn't the baby's fault and that the baby shouldn't be the one who pays for it.
I wanted to dislike Marina, Toby's birth mother--I mean what kind of woman sleeps with a married man and then abandons her baby? On the other hand, she could have had an abortion, and she didn't. She could have surrendered Toby for adoption, or hurt him, and she didn't do those things either. Marina has had a tough life and by the end of the book I really felt sorry for her.
At first I felt sorry for Ellen, then I disliked her and, at the end, was cheering for her, just a little.
As a blogger I enjoyed reading Lilia's take on events in the story via her blog.
This book explores the love of a mother for her child and the different forms it can take. It looks at what happens when children don't feel loved and the different ways love can be expressed. I loved this book and highly recommend it. Grade: A.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.