Monday, February 20, 2012

Empty Arms by Erika Liodice

Empty Arms: a novel
by Erika Liodice

From the Author's website:
Catharine Chase’s entire life is built on a secret. In 1972, at the tender age of sixteen, she got pregnant. An embarrassment to her parents, Catharine was exiled to a maternity home to carry out her pregnancy far away from the watchful eyes of their tight-knit community. What they didn’t tell her is that she wouldn’t be allowed to keep her baby.
With her daughter’s screams still echoing in her ears, the medical staff told Catharine she’d move on with her life and have more children, they promised she’d forget. But they were wrong. Catharine never forgot Emily. And when she and her husband, Paul, learn that they can’t have children, she risks her job, her marriage, and her family’s reputation in a desperate attempt to find the daughter she never wanted to give away and reclaim her only chance to be a mother.


There is nothing that Catharine wants more than a child of her own. After enduring countless rounds of infertility treatments, she is more than aware of the toll it has taken on her marriage, but she is unwilling to consider adoption. What her husband doesn't know is that Catharine had a child of her own when she was a teen, a child that she was forced to give up. This secret has haunted Catherine her entire life. Now Catharine must face the fact that Emily, the child she was forced to give away, may be the only child she will ever have. 

Empty Arms caught me off guard. The story is heartbreaking, I could only imagine how difficult it must have been for Catharine to live with guilt that she didn't deserve. The pain she felt was real and was compounded by the strained relationship with her mother, the brick wall she built in her marriage, and the challenges she faced while trying to find her daughter.

Empty Arms is a page-turner, I couldn't stop. See this wasn't a book I was reading, this was Catharine's story, that's just how real she felt to me, and I had to know how her story ended. Erika Liodice has a gift for bringing characters to life. The true-to-life tension, frustration of years gone by, and the love/hate interaction between the characters was remarkable.  There are real women who have lived Catharine's life and I feel that Erika Liodice has honored those women with this story.

I give this book:

I invite you to stop by tomorrow for my interview with Erika Liodice and for a chance to win a copy of Empty Arms!


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