A Mother's Goodbye by Kate Hewitt **Review , Extract & Giveaway**

I am thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour to celebrate the forthcoming publication of Kate Hewitt's latest emotional novel, A Mother's Goodbye, in June 2018. I have a great extract for you and also an International  Giveaway- the chance to win a copy of the book. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.


‘My arms ache with the need to reach and hold my precious child, and then to never let go. But I can’t. I know I can’t.’



Heather is devastated. There’s no way she can keep her baby. She can barely pay the bills as it is. But when she meets Grace, a wealthy, single career woman, who wants a baby more than anything, Heather believes she has found the perfect adoptive mother.

As Grace and Heather’s lives become entwined, they are tested to breaking point, though neither can deny the other’s love for the child. But just when they think they are learning how to live with each other, they receive devastating news that turns their fragile world upside down.

Will either mother know what is the right thing to do for the child they both love?

An absolutely gripping, emotional drama with a tear-jerking twist. If you love Jodi Picoult, Kelly Rimmer or Diane Chamberlain, this will warm your heart, make you cry, and stay with you forever.


                                                                                       Extract




HEATHER

‘I never thought I’d be here.’ I didn’t mean to say it out loud, but the words pop out anyway. It’s been two weeks since I talked to Kev about the baby, and we haven’t spoken about it since. If he’s waiting for me to do something, I don’t know what it is. I’d think he’d forgotten, but I see him look at me sideways sometimes, with a combination of guilt and accusation. I have to bite my tongue not to remind him that it takes two.

In the last two weeks I’ve called Planned Parenthood twice, and I got as far as making the appointment before I got scared. I called back to cancel, my hand shaking on the phone, afraid I might get some awful follow-up call that Kev would answer, and then what?
Nobody but Kev knows I’m pregnant. I pretend I don’t know; I don’t want to think about this baby. I can’t bear to, because then it’s real and what I’m doing, what I’m thinking of doing, feels awful. Unforgiveable. Worse, in some bizarre way, than an abortion.
‘Most women don’t expect to be in this position.’ The woman behind the desk – Tina, she said her name was – smiles at me. I don’t like her smile, kind as I know it’s meant to be. It’s too full of sympathy, of pity, and right now that’s the last thing I need. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t poor and desperate. We both know that. 

    I take a deep breath, my fingernails digging into the padded armrests as my stomach churns. I’m afraid I might actually be sick. ‘So how does this whole thing work, anyway?’ I ask. I sound belligerent, and so I take a deep breath and expel it, willing my stomach to settle. ‘Adoption, I mean.’ The words falls into the room like something heavy dropped on the floor. Thud. 

The possibility came to me a week ago, when I was at my parents’. Mom’s MS had flared up and my dad needed a trip out to the bar or Meadowlands Racing Track, it didn’t matter which. He goes, and either my sister Stacy or I pick up the slack. That’s how it has always been.

I started cleaning up, taking half-drunk cups of cold coffee and overflowing ashtrays to the kitchen, while Mom positioned her wheelchair in front of the TV and changed the channel from Fox News, my dad’s favorite, to QVC – hers. 

‘Come sit beside me, Lucy,’ she ordered, and Lucy obeyed, perching on the edge of the wheelchair, my mom’s arm around her little shoulders. ‘It’s time for Mary Beth’s Kitchen.’

While they listened to Mary Beth’s instructions on how to make a lemon meringue pie, I started on the kitchen, which was a mess – yesterday’s dishes piled in the sink; that morning’s on the table. Everything felt sticky, and the air smelled stale, of fried food and cigarette smoke, making my stomach heave. 

I dumped a bunch of grease-splattered plates in the sink and that’s when I caught sight of the free newspaper my mom always kept around in stacks, mainly to clip the coupons she never remembered to use. It was turned to the classifieds, a list of pathetic personals and overpriced offers for used furniture, and then—

Are You Pregnant?

I pushed some more dirty dishes aside and picked up the paper. The ad had a photo of a heavily pregnant woman cradling her belly, smiling down at her baby bump, all in hazy soft focus.

Are You Pregnant? Confused? 

She didn’t look confused, but I knew I was. My mind kept going in circles, wondering how we could make it work, where the money would come from to keep this baby. To keep our house, the kids fed, everything. 

I looked down at the newspaper and read some more, squinting at the small type. Open Heart Adoptions. Make a family happy today.
I felt as if a fist had reached inside and squeezed my heart. It hurt. And yet with that pain was something I hadn’t felt in so long I barely remembered the sensation: a treacherous little flicker of hope, even as I cringed with guilt. I couldn’t really be thinking about this.

‘Sweetie?’ my mother called from the living room. ‘Could you get me a Crystal Light?’ My mother drank the stuff by the gallon, peach iced tea, double-strength.

‘Sure, Mom.’ I put the paper back on the table, so the classified ads were face down. I felt dirty, as if I’d been looking at porn.

I made up a pitcher of Crystal Light and poured my mother a glass, my heart beating hard. I told myself to forget about that stupid ad, even if it felt like someone had thrown open a window and I was suddenly breathing fresh air, taking it in by the glorious lungful. 

Because the last sentence on the little ad was the one I remembered, the one I can still see now, dancing in my head, bold-faced, black type: All Maternity Costs Covered. 

    And so now I’m here, sitting in this overheated, pastel-decorated office, wearing a dress I last wore at my cousin’s wedding. It strains across my belly and under my armpits. Bad choice, but this feels like an interview and I don’t have anything else.

    ‘What has led you to consider this avenue, Heather?’ Tina looks maternal, a little overweight; comfortable in herself, dressed in loose clothing in various shades of beige. Her eyes and smile are soft but it feels like an act, her persona for the poor women who have been driven to come here. Women like me. I decide to talk straight.

    ‘I’m married and I have three kids already. Girls. My husband injured himself at work and the workman’s comp ends in a couple of months. We can’t afford another baby.’ I blurt out each sentence like a bullet, machine-gunning her with the facts. But then my tough act disintegrates and my stomach heaves. 

    ‘Sorry,’ I mutter as I double over, cold sweat prickling my back. 

‘Is there a bathroom…?’

    ‘Of course.’ For a large woman Tina springs up from her chair pretty fast. ‘Right down the hall.’

    Somehow I make it down the hall and into the bathroom stall, where I throw up my breakfast. I kneel on the cold, tiled floor, my cheek resting on the rim of the toilet bowl, feeling awful in all sorts of ways.

    I shouldn’t have come. I was desperate, and I tried to convince myself this could work, but it can’t. Of course it can’t. I can’t just give away my baby like something extra I don’t need or want, especially when I have three girls already to watch me do it. What on earth would they think? What on earth could I tell them that would make any sort of sense?

    And yet what else can I do?
  
My Thoughts
This is an emotional and powerful piece of writing which is told through the viewpoint of two women, Heather and Grace. On the surface they both appear to be complete opposites but they both share a deep love for a child and a need to be a mother. Protective and nurturing, they have difficult choices to make. There are some heart-rending episodes, made all the more affecting because you have become so invested in both these women and care what happens to them. 

    Both women are well drawn characters and you get to learn a lot about what makes them tick. You also get to see how the decisions they make about a baby ripple out into both their lives, and how others react to their choices. This is far from a sugary look at motherhood but it goes straight to its centre showing that the tie to a child can be an almost primal, visceral need. Halfway through the story there is a shocking change of direction and it becomes a difficult read but I was fascinated to see what the outcome was going to be and dreading it at the same time. 

In short: an involving and emotional read. Top marks!

    
About the Author 

 


Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 60 books of
women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell.


She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

You can follow Kate here: Twitter   |  Website

Book links: Goodreads   |  Amazon UK  

Thanks to Kate Hewitt and Jenny from Neverland Blog Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

                                                Giveaway (International)




To win a paperback copy of A Mother's Goodbye, follow the link below and good luck!  (one winner)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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