Friday, May 13, 2022

BLOG TOUR - The Family I Lost


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.






Title:   The Family I Lost
Author:  Ali Mercer
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:  Women's Fiction  
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   371
Date of Publication:   May 10, 2022
My Rating:   4 Stars

Not only has Lisa recently lost her mother, she grew up knowing that her father was imprisoned, but not why. Lisa's mother Julie cut them off from the rest of their family, but at some point Lisa discovers an address of a possible relative. She writes her but gets no response.

At an event a man approaches her and begins talking to her. He tells her that she has the look of of his wife. They talk for awhile and as things turns out, Lisa is indeed related to the man's wife. Eager to meet his wife, Amy, who just might be her cousin, Lisa is hoping to find answers. However, Amy doesn't seem too keen on meeting Lisa and things fizzle out quickly.

Amy's husband heads off to New Zealand for his job, leaving Amy home with their young daughter and newborn son. Amy invites Lisa to visit and even asks Lisa to stay on because she really needs the help. Everything is going swimmingly until their grandmother is planning to come over for a visit. This makes Amy quite nervous and it is at this point that things begin to be revealed in this book. The secrets of the past start to unravel and Lisa and Amy find themselves in a position to deal with past hurts and even lies. 

This book is quite evenly paced, with the tension picking up once the grandmother visits. Pieces begin to fall into place, making The Family I Lost a truly compelling read. Ali Mercer always writes in a way to capture the reader's attention and that is exactly what she did in her latest book. I am more than eager to read her next release.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please also enjoy my YouTube video review - 


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. 

Author Social Media Links:

For updates and pictures, follow Ali on Twitter (@AlisonLMercer) or Instagram (@alimercerwriter), or on her Facebook page (AliMercerwriter)

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