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'The Family I Lost' by Ali Mercer

Updated: May 14, 2022


Publication Day: May 10th 2022

Author: Ali Mercer


There are two little girls in the photo. I instantly recognise myself as the small, dark-haired child in the purple dress. But who is the girl with the long blonde hair laughing at the camera? And why is the photograph here, in a stranger’s house?

When I find the tattered picture hidden away at the back of a dusty cupboard in Amy’s house my mouth goes dry with shock. Though I haven’t known Amy for very long, I love looking after her children, in her perfect hilltop house with its sprawling garden. After feeling lost for months, reeling from the accident that tore everything apart, I hoped this was my chance to turn my life around.

But I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve been here before. I know this house somehow, the curve of the staircase and the view from the attic window are so familiar. I can feel it in my bones. What isn’t she telling me?

I can’t help noticing things that don’t add up: Amy’s guarded behaviour when I ask questions about her past, the whispered stories I overhear in the village and the locked room downstairs I’m not allowed to enter.

My mother always told me we didn’t have any family, that it was just the two of us against the world. I’ve always been sure she was hiding something. Finding the photograph, I thought I had it all figured out. But the truth is far worse than I could ever have imagined…

Am I ready to unlock the secrets of my past? Or should I have stayed well away?

A gripping and emotional novel about a dark family secret and the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters. An unputdownable page-turner for fans of Amanda Prowse, Susan Lewis and Kerry Fisher.


Review for 'The Family I Lost' by Ali Mercer.

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Ali Mercer, Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous

Publication date 10th May 2022.

This is the second book I have read by this author. I have previously read 'The Marriage Lie' which I would also recommend.

I was originally drawn to this book by its eye catching beaitiful cover and its intriguing synopsis and title. I am also a fan of Ali Mercer and if this book is half as good as 'The Marriage Lie' it's bound to be a page turner. The synopsis stated that this book is 'An unputdownable page-turner for fans of Amanda Prowse, Susan Lewis and Kerry Fisher'. I am a huge fan of Kerry Fisher so am looking forward to seeing if this lives up to this statement. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).

This novel consists of a foreword and 38 chapters over five parts. The chapters are short to medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

This book is based in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 , UK 🇬🇧. The bonus for me of books that are partly or fully based in the UK is that I live in the UK and have sometimes visited places mentioned in the book which makes it easier to picture. I have actually visited and holidayed in England on several occasions so am looking forward to see if I recognise anywhere.

This book is written in third person perspective and the main protagonists are Lisa, May and Julie. The benefits of third person perspective with multiple protagonists are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything.

It is set over multiple time lines. When books show what has happened in the past and what is happening in the present I find it really helps the reader (if it is well done) understand why things are happening and what has lead to the present activities and decisions. It also shows the bigger picture.

This book is very well written and the insights into the past let's the reader piece together what is going on. The descriptions are vivid and help to set the scene. The cover and synopsis worked well with the storyline.

This book is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and is filled with family, loss, sadness, heartbreak, secrets and lies. It goes to show how one minute can change not one but several life's. I did become confused about half way through when Amy started talking about her sister but all was revealed afterwards. I won't say anymore as I don't want to spoil it for future readers. Amy's house had a gothic atmosphere which I enjoyed as it really helped with some of the suspense the storyline created. I was almost in tears at a certain point with the vivid descriptions Ali used during a very emotional scene so I would definitely have the tissues ready!!!

The characters are strong and realistic. My heart really went out to both Julie and Lisa who were excluded from the family through no fault of their own and which put Lisa in the position of having nobody to turn to until she discovers Amy. Lisa was a lovely and kind hearted character and I really become invested in her life and story. Unfortunately I just didn't click with Amy who I felt like screaming at on several occasions and just felt that she was quite selfish. I also felt that she was using Lisa on several occasions and that she definitely didn't deserve her lovely children Tilly and Rowan or even her husband Joe. I couldn't stand Grandma Elsie from the start and found her attitude to Lisa absolutely despicable. I really liked Joe, he was an amazing father and I really felt sorry for him. Whether you love or hate the characters they all work perfectly to make the storyline what it is.

Well done Ali on yet another emotional page turner. Get the tissues ready before you start!

Overall a rollercoaster ride of emotions that will keep you turning the pages.

Genres covered in this book include Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Romance, Women's Literature, Saga, Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Fiction and Domestic Fiction amongst others.

I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of Amanda Prowse, Susan Lewis and Kerry Fisher.

371 pages.

This book is just £1.99 to purchase or free on kindle unlimited (at time of review) on kindle via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!!

Rated 4 /5 (I enjoyed it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook.

Feel free to add me on Goodreads or follow me on my website or Facebook for more reviews

#TheFamilyILost #Bookouture #AliMercer #NetGalley #BookReview #BlogTour #BooksOnTour

@AliMercer @Bookouture @Bookworm1986 @bookworm86

Author Bio:

Ali decided she wanted to be a writer early on and wrote her first novel when she was at primary school. She did an English degree and spent her early twenties working in various jobs in journalism, including as a reporter for the show business newspaper The Stage. She started writing fiction in earnest after getting married, moving out of London to the Oxfordshire market town of Abingdon and starting a family. She has two children, a daughter and a son who is autistic and was diagnosed when he was four years old.

Ali is fascinated by families, their myths and secrets, and the forces that hold them together, split them up and (sometimes) bring them back together again. She always travels with tissues and a book and has been known to cry over a good story, but is also a big fan of the hopeful ending.

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