Review: Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill

Center of Gravity

Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill 

July 14,2015- Thomas Nelson

309 pages – Adult, fiction, Domestic Violence, Family

http://www.lauramcneill.com

Facebook: yes

Twitter: @LauraMcNeillBks

Source: Smith Publicity

I have been given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

From Goodreads: The truth could cost her everything.
Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is grand.
Or is it?
When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.
If only Ava could believe her own excuses.
Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.
Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town —Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game? Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.

My Thoughts: Wow! My mind is blown and emotions are raw! I don’t know what to say and I have so much to say at the same time. Since I literally just finished the book, let’s start there. Ave and Jack both had me pumping my fist in the air. This is a book that could have gone is so many different directions; some completely satisfying and others – not so much. But, I am truly happy with the choices that the author has made for lots of reasons (and I am sure you will be able to figure them out when you read the book).

I have to say thanks to Sarah M. from Smith Publicity for offering this book to me to review. I am not sure that I would have discovered this book in a bookstore. (Especially if it is in the general fiction section, one area I don’t find myself  in unless I am looking for a specific title.) I am so glad that I was able to read this book.

In the beginning I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it to the end. Now that I have a baby of my own, anything that involves children (especially little bitty ones) has a 50/50 shot of me not being able to emotionally handle it. When Mitchell tricked Ava and took the boys I had to take a break from reading. It was like he had kidnapped them and that’s a scary situation to begin with. It’s even worse when you look into your own kids eyes and wonder what if someone took them away. It was a little too real. But the writing was compelling, so I didn’t stay away too long.

Sometimes stories with more than one narrator flops. Not so with Center of Gravity.  Sometimes people are crazy and sometimes a person makes the other one appear crazy. This is an important distinction for this story. Really, it could have gone both ways. Since the story is told through the key characters switching point of view, the reader is able to see the whole truth and not just the biased truth.

And the characters! My heart squeezed for Jack and Sam. Getting to know Jack and seeing what kind of person he became was the best part of the book. McNeill obviously devoted a lot of time developing each character, their personality ticks and nuances, as well as their individual voices. This pays off in the end. The bad guys leave you wanting to see them punished and the good guys leave you rooting for them.

  I will be keeping McNeill on my radar and will check out what else she has written. Center of Gravity is definitely a book that I would recommend.

5 stars *****

Always Shine!

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