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A Necessary End by Holly Brown
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A Necessary End

by Holly Brown

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A Necessary End by Holly Brown
3 Stars

What's It About?
How far would you go to get what you wanted? author, Holly Brown returns with a taut, riveting novel of psychological suspense—a domestic drama full of secrets and twists—about a woman determined to have a child, her ambivalent husband, and a pregnant teenager with a secret agenda of her own.

“I know now that there was no other way things could have turned out. Tragedies are inevitable, just like the great love stories, like us.” Thirty-nine-year-old Adrienne is desperate to be a mother. And this time, nothing is going to get in her way.

At nineteen, Leah bears a remarkable resemblance to the young woman Adrienne once was. Which is why Adrienne knows the baby Leah is carrying is meant to be hers. But Leah’s got ideas of her own: Her baby’s going to get a life in California; why shouldn’t she? All she wants is to live in Adrienne’s house for a year after the baby’s born, and get a fresh start. It seems like a small price for Adrienne to pay to get their baby. And with Gabe suddenly on board, what could possibly go wrong?

What Did I Think?
Holly Brown did a great job of keeping the reader guessing. Nothing was what it seemed to be. The four characters that furnish the points of view in the story are believable but you can see immediately all the mistakes that were being made. You wanted to yell at them to "STOP IT". The baby, Michael was just a chess piece in their individual schemes. The ending was incomplete as far as I was concerned. Of all the many ways this could have concluded it seemed that someone...the author... her editor...someone...chose the one that was the most upsetting and made left the most unanswered.

The book is certainly worth the reading time and will appeal to those that enjoy physiological suspense. ( )
  Carol420 | Jun 16, 2017 |
This is a much better successor to Gone Girl than most of the books that've been marketed that way in the past couple years - pity it didn't take off so well. Adrienne is a tremendous character, manipulative, dangerous, but thoroughly real in the way of real people who will do anything other than admit that they've done bad things. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Mar 27, 2016 |
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. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
A pregnant teenager, a couple who can't conceive, and a deal Gabe and Adrianne can't pass up. Or was it really such a good deal?

Adrianne was so desperate to have a baby that she and Gabe signed up for a birth mother site that would give them access to unwed mothers who wanted to put their baby up for adoption. They got burned on the first mother and Leah sounded too good to be true so they took the “deal.”​ Leah arrived at their home within 24 hours with her flight paid for and with her own secret agenda.​

I was apprehensive about their decision ​and about Leah ​the second I read about it. Leah was going to have the baby, stay with them for a year, be paid $400 a month ​with all medical expenses covered but ​with the stipulation that she could still decide to keep the baby.

A NECESSARY END kept me on the edge of my seat as the characters interacted and as Leah continued to show her true colors​ and carry out her plan. Ms. Brown addressed a social situation that could escalate to this height.

Ms. Brown does a superb job of keeping the tension of the book's situation very high.

​A NECESSARY END is a gripping psychological thriller with characters that were well developed but ones that I wanted to shake and tell to wake up and see what actually was going on. There was a good deal of betrayal as well as manipulation.

If you enjoy books with characters you d​on't trust from the start and a gut feeling that all isn't as it really seems A NECESSARY END is a book you won't want to miss. The ending revelations and the ending itself are definitely a surprise and not what I expected. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review ( )
  SilversReviews | Jul 1, 2015 |
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Book description
“I know now that there was no other way things could have turned out. Tragedies are inevitable, just like the great love stories, like us.”

Thirty-nine-year-old Adrienne is desperate to be a mother. And this time, nothing is going to get in her way.

Sure, her husband, Gabe, is ambivalent about fatherhood. But she knows that once he holds their baby, he’ll come around. He’s just feeling a little threatened, that’s all. Because once upon a time, it was Gabe that Adrienne wanted more than anything; she was willing to do anything. . . . But that was half a lifetime ago. She’s a different person now, and so is Gabe. There are lines she wouldn’t cross, not without extreme provocation.

And sure, she was bitten once before by another birth mother—clear to the bone—and for most people, it’s once bitten, twice shy. But Adrienne isn’t exactly the retiring type.

At nineteen, Leah bears a remarkable resemblance to the young woman Adrienne once was. Which is why Adrienne knows the baby Leah is carrying is meant to be hers. But Leah’s got ideas of her own: Her baby’s going to get a life in California; why shouldn’t she? All she wants is to live in Adrienne’s house for a year after the baby’s born, and get a fresh start.

It seems like a small price for Adrienne to pay to get their baby. And with Gabe suddenly on board, what could possibly go wrong?
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"Thirty-nine-year-old Adrienne is desperate to be a mother. And this time, nothing is going to get in her way. Sure, her husband, Gabe, is ambivalent about fatherhood. But she knows that once he holds their baby, he'll come around. He's just feeling a little threatened, that's all. Because once upon a time, it was Gabe that Adrienne wanted more than anything; she was willing to do anything. . . . But that was half a lifetime ago. She's a different person now, and so is Gabe. There are lines she wouldn't cross, not without extreme provocation. And sure, she was bitten once before by another birth mother--clear to the bone--and for most people, it's once bitten, twice shy. But Adrienne isn't exactly the retiring type. At nineteen, Leah bears a remarkable resemblance to the young woman Adrienne once was. Which is why Adrienne knows the baby Leah is carrying is meant to be hers. But Leah's got ideas of her own: her baby's going to get a life in California; why shouldn't she? All she wants is to live in Adrienne's house for a year after the baby's born, and get a fresh start. It seems like a small price for Adrienne to pay to get their baby. And with Gabe suddenly on board, what could possibly go wrong?" --… (more)

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