Review | The Boy in the Photo by Nicole Trope

“Divorce is a terrible thing, but sometimes to stay married is even more terrible.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: missing children, old photographs, new babies, manipulation and a strong maternal bond.

Read the chilling and completely heartwrenching story of a mother’s worst nightmare: her child being stolen—and what happens when he returns.
Six years ago

Megan waits at the school gates for her six-year-old son, Daniel. As the playground empties, panic bubbles inside her. Daniel is nowhere to be found. Her darling son is missing.

Six years later

After years of sleepless nights and endless days of missing her son, Megan finally gets the call she has been dreaming about. Daniel has walked into a police station in a remote town just a few miles away.

Megan is overjoyed—her son is finally coming home. She has kept Daniel’s room, with his Cookie Monster poster on the wall and a stack of Lego under the bed, in perfect shape to welcome him back. But when he returns, there is something different about Daniel…

According to the police, Daniel was kidnapped by his father. After his dad died in a fire, Daniel was finally able to escape. Desperate to find out the truth, Megan tries to talk to her little boy—but he barely answers her questions. Longing to help him heal, Megan tries everything—his favourite chocolate milkshake, a reunion with his best friend, a present for every birthday missed—but still, Daniel is distant.

And as they struggle to connect, Megan begins to suspect that there is more to the story. Soon, she fears that her son is hiding a secret. A secret that could destroy her family…

This book was so crazy!

In this story we follow a family of three: the mother Megan, the father Greg and the 6 year-old son Daniel. Megan was physically and mentally abused for years by her husband, so they got a divorce to live their separate lives. A few months after their separation, Megan goes to pick Daniel from school but soon finds out that Greg picked him up without permission first and they’re gone without a trace. Yes, Greg abducted his son! So for 6 years Daniel was missing… until one day he returned out of nowhere. His mother is thrilled he is back to her, and she tries to reconnect with him and integrate him in her new family. The weird thing is Daniel is not the same… and I’ll leave it at that!

I felt so sorry for the mother! I just can’t imagine what it was like to go through a grief process, wondering where your kid is or even if he is alive. Oh and the guilt she must have felt! And then trying to deal with his behavior after coming back and trying your best to make things work for everyone. Not an easy scenario, but she definitely had my sympathy.

I personally had no idea of what was going to happen by the end of the story, but I was pleased with how it turned out. It was insane, but well done!

This is a disturbing story about the maternal bond, manipulation and toxic parents. It was heartbreaking, but very entertaining. I highly recommend it!

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