A Necessary End
By Holly Brown
How far would you go to get what you wanted? The author of Don’t Try to Find Me returns with a taut, riveting novel of psychological suspense—a domestic drama full of secrets and twists—about a woman determined to have a child, her ambivalent husband, and a pregnant teenager with a secret agenda of her own.
“I know now that there was no other way things could have turned out. Tragedies are inevitable, just like the great love stories, like us.”
Thirty-nine-year-old Adrienne is desperate to be a mother. And this time, nothing is going to get in her way.
Sure, her husband, Gabe, is ambivalent about fatherhood. But she knows that once he holds their baby, he’ll come around. He’s just feeling a little threatened, that’s all. Because once upon a time, it was Gabe that Adrienne wanted more than anything; she was willing to do anything. . . . But that was half a lifetime ago. She’s a different person now, and so is Gabe. There are lines she wouldn’t cross, not without extreme provocation.
And sure, she was bitten once before by another birth mother—clear to the bone—and for most people, it’s once bitten, twice shy. But Adrienne isn’t exactly the retiring type.
At nineteen, Leah bears a remarkable resemblance to the young woman Adrienne once was. Which is why Adrienne knows the baby Leah is carrying is meant to be hers. But Leah’s got ideas of her own: Her baby’s going to get a life in California; why shouldn’t she? All she wants is to live in Adrienne’s house for a year after the baby’s born, and get a fresh start.
It seems like a small price for Adrienne to pay to get their baby. And with Gabe suddenly on board, what could possibly go wrong? (Goodreads)
Adrienne and Gabe have almost the perfect marriage. They love each other, they understand each other and they are perfect together in all ways. In all ways except for the one thing that matters most to Adrienne, the ability to have a child of their own. So Adrienne does what she does best, she comes up with a solution to this setback. They can adopt a baby and then their family will be complete (Gabe feels that they are complete with just the two of them). And even though the first adoption attempt fell through, Adrienne does not give up. When Leah, a birth mother wanting to give her baby up, contacts Adrienne, it looks like Adrienne’s dream will come true. Leah tells her that the baby’s father, Trevor, wants nothing to do with her and Leah is sure she wants to give her baby up for adoption. Arrangements are made for Leah to come and visit so that she can meet the possible adoptive parents and decide if they are the right choice. Everything goes down from there.
The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional. But none of them are likable and they are not characters you can root for. And I would not have wanted it any other way.
Adrienne is very self-centered and will do whatever it takes to make sure she achieves her goals. We see that when we learn about her past, when she was a teenager in love with Gabe. And it is reinforced when we read about her desire and determination to adopt a child. She will not let anyone or anything stand in the way of her goal of becoming a mother.
Gabe is a weak man and, in my opinion, has no backbone. He has let Adrienne control his life for many years and he is content with that. He does not want to become a father, he is happy with his life of two, him and Adrienne. It seems to me like a decision that important should be made by both people and both should be in total agreement. But Gabe let Adrienne have total control over all important matters in their lives.
Leah is a teenager who has not had a good childhood. She finds herself pregnant and alone and decides to take advantage of her situation to improve her lot in life. She is a skilled schemer and does not feel any guilt using Adrienne’s fierce desire for a child to her advantage. She realizes that she can get Gabe and Adrienne to be in opposition of each other and use that to achieve her own goals (sounds a little bit like Adrienne).
Trevor is another weak male, but he is young and letting his hormones control many of his decision, so that is understandable.
He knows that he is in love with Leah, and wants to be with her. But he also realizes that he is not ready to be a father and does not want that responsibility. As immature as he is, he is the only one who is willing to do what is right.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a fast read (at least for me because I did not want to put it down). The chapters alternate between Adrienne’s point of view and Gabe’s point of view. This worked very well and I liked getting more of an insight into both of their perspectives. I feel it added another layer to the story. The author is very talented in creating an atmosphere of psychological tension that kept me turning pages at a fast clip. The ending was jaw dropping for me and was not what I was expecting at all.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted psychological thriller. Although it is not a feel good read, it is a compelling read. When I was not reading it I found myself thinking about the book and wondering what was going to happen. That does not happen often when I am reading. I would not recommend this book for young adults due to some language but not enough usage to detract from the story line. This is the first book that I have read by this author and I look forward to reading more of her work.