Review: Not My Child by Jane E. James


Print Length: 319 pages
Publisher: Joffe Books (September 07, 2023)

From Looking out at my dead wife’s family in the pews, I know I’m meant to read the eulogy that’s tucked into my pocket. The one that tells a story of the life I built with my wonderful wife before she was tragically killed in a hit-and-run.

But I decide to tell the truth. ‘I was married to two women. One I knew. And one I didn’t.’ Shocked murmurs echo around the church.

‘My wife left me a letter. She told me to destroy it once I’d read it and not reveal its contents to anyone.’

I grip the pulpit, my knuckles white. I see our two beautiful children sitting with their grandparents. ‘You might think me disloyal for going against Tara’s wishes, but I’ve decided to share this letter anyway.’

‘Starting with lie number one.’


My Rating: 1 star out of 5

This book was such a mess that I'm surprised I finished it at all. 

To begin with, neither Tara nor Dino are likeable characters in the least. Tara went through a horrible childhood, and then something as a teenager that no woman regardless of age should have to go through, so I wanted to be able to cut her some slack. But the way she became absolutely obsessed with Brianna to the point she was lying to her husband and spending hours outside of the woman's home made it hard to sympathize with her. 

Dino on the other hand keeps talking about how good looking he is, and how no woman can resist him (he used to be called the Italian Stallion don't you know). You would have thought that after his wife's death, he would have thrown more of himself into their children, but instead he seems content to pawn them off on his parents most of the time (even though his dad is suffering from Alzheimer's). Now before anyone comes for me, I lost my husband when we had two young children, and while both my parents and my father-in-law were close by and more than willing/capable of taking them, I didn't go that route. As the sole parent left after an unexpected loss, I wanted to spend time with them, so I really cannot understand Dino's motivation (not even with Tara's "lies). 

Aside from a bunch of random things thrown in that still don't make sense , for example why did Mr.Grant leave his car running and in Dino's driveway, and why was Dino forced to go give a statement when he obviously wasn't home at the time? Or why was Tara so convinced that Sean was the person behind what happened to her when she repeatedly said she didn't see the person responsible? Or, and this was one of my favorites, why was it necessary to reveal that the Officer in charge of Tara's case was having an affair? It did nothing to move the plot along. 

But then we get to what was supposed to be the "big reveal" and man, I had had this one figured out early on. All of the signs were there. 

But what really killed this one for me was the way that it ended. I guess we're just supposed to be happy with there being no real resolution to two of the biggest plot points of the story? Alrighty then. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                                 Not My Child is available on
                                             (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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