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No Child of Mine by Susan Lewis
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No Child of Mine

by Susan Lewis

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Alex Lake’s life is centered on helping people. Her job as a social worker in a British seaside town is more than a career: It’s the very essence of who she is. And though there are frustrations, Alex takes to heart the rewards of placing a child in a safe and loving home. But when she encounters three-year-old Ottilie Wade, Alex is completely unprepared for the effect the sweet, shy little girl has on her. Though on the surface Ottilie seems to want for nothing—she’s perfectly healthy and lives in a very nice home—she’s mysteriously silent and asocial. Alex knows that something is not right in the Wade house. And the deeper she looks into the case, the more Alex comes to feel that she and Ottilie are being drawn together by fate.

As disturbing evidence mounts and Alex’s superiors seem unwilling to help, Alex knows she will have to risk everything—her job and the life she loves—to save Ottilie. But Alex will also have to wrestle the demons of her own past before she can secure a future for this child in need.
  nordie | May 24, 2014 |
The average progenies of the 21st century are gifted in many ways. They are both blessed with advanced minds and modern technology. Children are given tools that sooth both their intelligence and soul, which allows them to grow and prosper with age. Youngsters of today are able to gather information with the touch of a finger. Instant gratification is met by streaming videos of popular characters, while education is taught by computers. Although there are many countries that have yet to catch up with developed nations, all have children that are loved and cherished. These small beings are protected as the hope of the future and the builders of nations. However, scattered throughout all countries are children that have fallen in-between the cracks. These small beings are the battered and bruised. Beaten by their fathers and neglected by their mothers, they are protected by the government of nations. This book is about one such child named Ottilie. She is a child that is harassed by her father and hated by her deranged mother. A social worker named Alex makes it her mission to save Ottilie and somehow prove that she is being abused. With the clock ticking, Alex races against time and sees her life crumble before her eyes. Will Alex be able to save Ottilie? Can she separate herself from that of a distant child?

This book was probably one of the most challenging books that I have ever read. It was both emotionally challenging and logically hard to tolerate. The story was very well written and the author did one hell of a job on her research. However, there was a very naïve side to the main character and I found myself hating her as much as I did Otillie’s father. I did not like how Alex looked down on nearly all parents she interacted with and constantly looked for faults. She was a paranoid person who would easily find herself out of a job by crossing one to many lines. Even though there was a massive amount of unrealistic situations with the social worker, there were many truthful situations with Ottilie. The author did a wonderful job giving the reader a glimpse into the lives of what some severely abused children go through daily. It was so brutally honest in some parts that I had to step away and take a break from the book. As a parent it also made me sick to imagine some of the scenes she created in her story. I will say that although I am not fond of this book, the author is one hell of an advocate for kids. She is a person who deeply loves and cherishes children. Therefore, I recommend this book to those that are studying the field of social services. It is a good reminder of what they might be encountering in the future. This book is not for the easily upset, but for those that have a passion for children. I must say thank you to both the author and goodreads for sending this book to me for review. It was much appreciated and brought something new to the table for me. ( )
  Jennifer35k | Feb 24, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
No Child of Mine by Susan Lewis; an ARC/ER, thank you

Alex, a social worker in England, is completely devoted to her job and to the children whose lives she touches. When she meets Ottillie she immediately knows that something is not right with the child. Constricted by rules she is only able to help the child in small ways.

This book was haunting. I almost put it down several times but I kept reading because I had to know what happened to Ottillie. If you are someone who is easily disturbed or overly emotional about child abuse, this book probably isn't for you. However it is well written and the characters are living breathing people.

I found it quite worth the time I spent reading it. ( )
2 vote rainpebble | Feb 7, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is my first book I have read by this author but will have to to check out more by her. The subject matter was very hard to read because it dealt with child abuse. I found the book to be very upsetting and had to keep putting it down and taking a break from it. ( )
  KathyWoodall | Jan 3, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Received Early Review Edition,

With good reason, this book is very hard to get through. The subject of child abuse, physical, sexual, emotional should be. Besides the topic, the writing is well constructed and keeps the reader's attention.

I was annoyed by how much of a doormat Alex allowed herself to be. While amazingly strong considering her history,(she would never back down in defending the children she protects and can be irrational in tolerating her boyfriend's ex) she allowed herself to be treated like an outsider within her adopted family. Someone who places children should have a better understanding of adoptive families being "real" families. Things did fall together a bit too neatly. It left me wondering if Ottilie would ever get the psychological treatment she will so desperately need. She just seemed to be too well adjusted for what she had endured.

There seems to be a lack of understanding or compassion for mental illness. Erica is looked at as a "crazy" person rather than as someone with a serious mental illness. ( )
  signrock | Dec 28, 2013 |
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Alex Lake's day job is all about helping people, especially children. She cares about them passionately and does everything in her power to rescue them from those who mean them harm. When the case of three-years-old Ottilie Wade comes to her attention, Alex finds herself completely unable to detach from the child the way she should. She feels an overpowering need to make a real difference in little Ottilie's life, but no one is prepared to believe that Ottilie is in danger. In the end, Alex makes a decision that has consequences for her, her family and Ottilie - consequences that no one, least of all Alex, could have foreseen.… (more)

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