Audiobook Review – A Mother’s Heart

Title: A Mother’s Heart

Author: Carmel Harrington

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction

Goodreads Rating: 4.58

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Source: ARC


“Those children are our life, Rachel. You can’t take them from us. And I will not stop until they are back where they belong, with their blood family!”

When Rachel met handsome Irish widower Lorcan it was a whirlwind romance. Her family back home thought it would never last. But it did, and they were so happy. Bringing up two stepchildren hadn’t been in her life plan, but she loved them like her own. She’d say to them “even though you didn’t grow in my tummy, you grew in my heart”, and they’d all laugh together. Their little family wasn’t quite the same as everyone else’s, but it was beautiful, it was happy, it was home.

Until now. When Lorcan dies in a tragic accident, Rachel’s world collapses in an instant. She knows she has to be strong for her stepchildren. But given the chance to move back to the country she grew up in, she wonders if it could be the new start they need.

However, she doesn’t count on the children’s own grandparents. Their blood relations, who say Rachel isn’t their real mother, and so can’t take them away from Ireland. Who say they won’t let her.

As Rachel finds herself fighting against the only people who might love the children as much she does, everyone will have to ask – what makes a parent? What makes a home? And with whom do the children of her heart have a future?

My Review:

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for approving me for an ARC of this book. After reading and enjoying a previous book of Carmel Harrington’s I was excited to see what this one would be like.

Well what can I say except wow! This story was so unique in it’s premise and so emotional that I flew through the audio. We start the story in New Zealand where Rachel is visiting her family with her two step children. During this visit Rachel starts to fantasise what it might be like to uproot from Ireland and move her and the children back to her hometown in New Zealand.

When Rachel returns to Ireland she quickly realises that moving may not be the best option and decides to stay put, despite feeling that she lacks the emotional support from her dead husband’s family and in laws. Things quickly escalate and soon Rachel finds herself in a custody battle with her step children’s grandparents!

My first reaction when listening to this story was those poor children. Not only did they lose their mum at a young age but they then lost their dad too. I can’t begin to imagine how they must of felt but their relationship with Rachel was beautiful. You could feel the love and trust they felt for each other and both children felt safe with Rachel which made the custody battle even more heart breaking.

On the other side I could also see Shelia’s point of view. She had lost her daughter and felt that Rachel was trying to take Niamh’s place. I could understand why she felt that she needed to fight for the children but some of the things she did really frustrated me.

Like I said at the start this is a unique case with plenty of characters involved. It asks the age old question of what classes you as a mother? It dives deep into complex family relationships and how grief effects us all differently. I found myself welling up on more than one occasion so make sure you grab the tissues!


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