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The Night Olivia Fell Paperback – February 5, 2019
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Sweet Sorrow" by David Nicholls
"With fully fleshed-out characters, terrific dialogue, bountiful humor, and genuinely affecting scenes, this is really the full package of a rewarding, romantic read."—Booklist Learn more
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"In Christina McDonald’s The Night Olivia Fell, Abi gets the call every mother fears: her daughter has fallen from a bridge and is brain dead...but was it an accident or a crime? McDonald reveals the answer in steady, page-turning increments, a gradual unfolding of truths and long-held secrets that culminates in a heart-wrenching resolution. A suspenseful debut that packs an emotional punch." -- Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of Three Days Missing and The Marriage Lie
"I was absolutely hooked, it was such an emotional read that I was broken by the end. Heartbreaking and thrilling at the same time." -- Jenny Blackhurst, bestselling author of How I Lost You
"Beautifully written and moving with characters I felt I knew, The Night Olivia Fell is a stunning debut that kept me guessing right until the final, heartbreaking twist." -- Claire Douglas, bestselling author The Sisters, Local Girl Missing and Last Seen
"Christina McDonald's The Night Olivia Fell takes a mother's worst nightmare to a whole new level. This is an intense, twisting, heartbreaking thriller that explores in painful detail the consequences of family secrets. The reader will be riveted until the final page...and may even feel a bit of hope when all is said and done. Don't miss this one!" -- David Bell, bestselling author of Somebody's Daughter
"Christina McDonald has crafted an emotionally-charged mystery that will leave readers equally gut-wrenched and gripped. The Night Olivia Fell welcomes a talented new addition to the world of domestic suspense." -- Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl and When The Lights Go Out
“[A] complex, emotionally intense first novel…Fans of twisty domestic suspense novels will be rewarded.”, Publishers Weekly
"McDonald ratchets up the suspense with every chapter, including plenty of gasp-worthy twists and turns as Abi and Olivia’s story pushes towards its devastating conclusion. The suspense is supplemented by relationships of surprising depth and tenderness, providing balance and nuance to the story. A worthy debut from an up-and-coming domestic-suspense author; readers who enjoy mother-daughter stories in the genre should line up for this one.”, Booklist (Starred Review)
"This book is a tearjerker, so have tissues at hand. A well-structured story of how lying corrupts from the start that will keep pages turning.”, Library Journal
“A thrilling page-turner you have to read.”, PopSugar
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From there, the narrative shifts between Abi, mostly in the present day with some flashbacks, and Olivia in the months leading up to her fall, until the two narratives merge in a masterful way.
Abi believes from the start that Olivia’s fall is no accident. She sees bruises on her wrists, and she quickly learns no one is taking her seriously, including the police. Once they finally begin to investigate, the case never seems to be their priority, and Abi decides to take matters into her own hands.
What happened to Olivia that fateful night, and how will this tragic story end?
There are so many things I loved about The Night Olivia Fell, and the biggest is how grounded it is in reality with authentic emotions, relationship dynamics, and characters. And those characters…wow! Not one is simply good or bad; they are a nice mix of complexity that keeps you guessing, especially when it comes to pointing the finger at who might have harmed Olivia. The author kept a wide net cast when looking for the suspect. I would develop a theory, and then pan to the next potential perp as the story went along and red herrings were dangled.
The Night Olivia Fell is so much more than the typical suspense story. While it has all the paramount trademarks, including secrets, lies, and formidable tension, it is in a league of its own with its intensely relatable characterization and raw emotion. You will love Abi and Olivia, and you will most definitely want to wrap your arms around each of them together, as you read their story and accept their individual fates as mother and daughter.
I read this book as a group read, and this was the best kind of story to read together. We shared in the tension, the love for these characters, and the guessing game at just who was guilty at the center of it all.
I read the book early with a complimentary copy; however, I preordered the book because I enjoyed it so much. All opinions are my own.
Alright...on with my review...
This is the part where I would normally enter a profound quote from the book, however, as hard as I tried, I could find nothing quotable within this unimpressive prose.
I often find myself in disagreement with the masses when it comes to hyped-up books such as this. But in this case I am COMPLETELY DUMBFOUNDED by the plethora of 5 and 4 star reviews.
The first 100 pages or so caught my attention but then I couldn't skim fast enough just to get it over with, eventually finding myself at an anti-climatic ending.
This story has been done and done and done again and this version added nothing novel to this tired premise.
I'm not a wordy reviewer and I really don't see the point in delving into the endless list of ways this book was a mammoth disappointment for me.
Friendly Disclaimer: This is not a thriller. It's more like a pseudo-mystery that should have been marketed to a teen audience rather than adult.
IN SUMMARY: I read two other books while reading this one. 'Nuff said.
2 Stars ⭐⭐ only because the first third was a compelling read.
That said, the story was unremarkable, no twists, no big reveal. The other characters were also unremarkable and stereotypical. The plot dragged at times and I found the descriptions to be distracting rather than complementary to the flow of the story. It's like she took a mental image of the backdrop, copied and pasted it into the text. Very stilted, awkward and repetitive. And the mourning......it goes on and on and on. We are reminded of Abi's grief constantly, on every page of every chapter. And how picture-perfect their relationship had been. Not one character really stood out, There was zero suspense The depressing theme of death and grief permeated the entire book interspersed w/half-baked love affairs which totally lacked emotional depth. In fact, the lack of emotion throughout was stark. Characters were only halfway drawn, writing style was choppy, I was easily distracted. I found this book very two-dimensional and cliche.
Did Olivia fall or was she pushed? The police seem to have decided to half-heartedly investigate what her mother Abi is certain is a crime. Brain dead, kept alive so her fetus can grow, the list of people who could have pushed Olivia is longer than Abi can imagine. The boyfriend? The secret boyfriend? The ex best friend? Her biological father? Her half sister? Or could THE NIGHT OLIVIA FELL truly have been an accident?
You will be unable to resist this unputdownable book.
Top international reviews
An amazing novel, can't recommend highly enough
A very engaging book in so many ways. Sadness, happiness, intrigue, the all encompassing love and truth of the characters felt very real.
The best book I have read for some time.
Highly recommend this book for all of the above reasons.
I cannot see anyone being disappointed with this Book.
I didn’t much care about any of the characters, they weren’t particularly likeable. Disappointed after reading some of the reviews.
I really enjoyed this book, it was very easy to just keep on reading and it kept you guessing to the end.
Well written enjoyed the story being told by two characters.
A heartbreaking story I just had to know the end kept me gripped throughout.