Estelle Paradise woke up one morning to find baby Mia missing from her cot, not only that but her clothes, nappies and all the other paraphernalia that goes along with a small baby has disappeared too.
As the title doesn’t just beg comparisons, it actively behaves like a teenage cheerleader to make sure we don’t miss them, to the recent hit books in the psychological thriller/domestic noir genre of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, it would be remiss of me not to comment on them; this definitely fits into the psychological thriller genre, there is an unreliable narrator and someone is missing! That said, this is actually a far more thoughtful book, dealing with postpartum psychosis although efforts have been made to create the tension and twists and turns required to match these books. More of that later…
We first meet Estelle when she is in a hospital bed following a car accident, oh and part of her ear is missing! She has police guards at the door and her husband Jack is firing questions at her about what has happened to baby Mia, there is just one problem, Estelle has amnesia and can’t remember.
The media goes wild when the news breaks that Estelle didn’t report Mia missing and the assumption is made that one or both parents are involved in her disappearance, after all, what other explanation could there be? Estelle is quickly packed off to psychiatric hospital to help recover her memory and vast swathes of the book are taken up with her sessions with Dr Ari and Estelle and Jack’s history told through flashbacks. What the public doesn’t know and the reader does is that Estelle struggled with motherhood and her biggest fear is that she did have something to do with Mia’s disappearance, and as such this is a fascinating look at postpartum psychosis. So to the characters: I was quite ok with not liking many of the characters, I did have some sympathy with Estelle especially as her history was revealed, but I found Jack lacked depth, if you want a portrayal of the most emotionally absent husband, this is your book.
So back to the twists and turns, despite a strong start I found these to get progressively more far-fetched and at that point I found this book harder to engage with. The biggest surprise is when we find out the solution to the mystery the book carries on for a considerable amount of time, this to me felt like overkill and is the part that made me decide that I won’t be recommending this one to other readers, simply it should have finished at what I consider to be the right time.
I was lucky enough to receive my copy of this book through Amazon Vine in return for my honest opinion. Little Girl Gone also appears to being published under the title Remember Mia, which to my mind is a far more appropriate title, and is due to be published today, 24 September 2015.