Today it is my stop on the blog tour for The Dark Place by Stephanie Rogers. I had no idea what I was in for when I started reading the book but what a ride it turned out to be.
I’m a bit unsure about where to start with this review, there is a lot that I want to say about the book but I don’t want to give any spoilers! Which I won’t do so you are safe to read on.
The story is told to us by Jon and Mel, a couple who clearly have their struggles, not least three year old Noah who lives with them while his mum, and Jon and Mel’s daughter, goes to University.
It is clear from the start that Mel struggles with Noah, understandably she felt that her days of parenting a toddler were over and she missed her job and the life that she had before Issy got pregnant at 15. Jon, on the other hand, appears to be happier with his life and he is especially excited that Issy is coming back from University for a visit, he can’t wait to see her.
We hear briefly from Issy at the start, but we don’t really understand why she is doing what she is doing. That is a puzzle that continues throughout the book as Issy’s parents try to work out why their daughter apparently killed herself.
I felt that this book was really well written, the grief that Jon and Mel went through felt so real and raw and painful. They both knew that they needed to find out more, and so they set about finding out about Issy’s life and realised how little they knew their daughter.
Some of it was hard to read, as it became clear just how unhappy Issy had been the pain that caused her parents, and especially her dad was immense. I worked out right near the start why she had done it, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book and when Mel and Jon finally worked it out I gave a cheer that they’ finally got there.
I really enjoyed this book, the relationship between Mel and Jon really was great to read, and I loved that how things ended up for them wasn’t what you’d necessarily expect but it felt so right.
This is the first book that I’ve read by Stephanie Rogers but it certainly won’t be the last!
Thank you to Manatee Books for a copy of The Dark Place by Stephanie Rogers. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
When you look at those you love, what do you see?
When Issy, young mother and beloved daughter, seemingly kills herself her family is devastated.
Believing she would never leave son Noah willingly, Jon and Mel determine to discover what really happened to Issy. As they and the rest of the family struggle to come to terms with tragedy, Jon and Mel start to realise Issy’s secrets come from a very dark place…
About The Author:
I have always lived in Yorkshire, migrating a whole three miles over the border from South to North Yorkshire and have always loved reading. As a kid, I was always reading when I should have been doing something else and nothing has changed (uncooked or burnt dinners being commonplace in my house – cooking’s overrated anyway). For most of my adult life I’ve worked as a dog groomer, interspersed with bouts of working as a musician, playing drums and saxophone, which has taken me to Germany and Israel. They’re not that compatible really, dog grooming and music – dogs hate the noises saxes and drums make (well mine do; or maybe it’s how I play them.) I have been and always will be, unashamedly, a rock chick.
After ignoring the urge to write for a long time (too busy, no time, kids to feed, books to read) I finally did a creative writing course with Writers’ Bureau, which I loved. I’ve written two thrillers, which is my favourite genre to read, and a couple of children’s books. I’ve also sold short stories to Take-A-Break’s Fiction Feast.