The Night Olivia Fell was provided to me as a digital advance reader copy by Gallery Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Expected publication date is February 5, 2019.
Abi is awakened in the middle of the night by a call from the police. Her teenage daughter Olivia was discovered on the riverbank, assumed to have fallen from the bridge above, and is currently in the hospital with no brain activity and a baby on the way. Abi immediately demands answers to how her daughter died, and slowly her own past is woven into what happened to her daughter, showing how our choices can catch up to us and bring consequences long after they are made.
They reveal pretty early on that Olivia encounters another girl that looks just like her while on a campus tour, and so we understand that her dad might not really be dead like her mom has always told her. When Abi doesn’t give her the honest answers she asks for, Olivia goes off on her own to try to get answers. This search sets off a series of events which we see in pieces that lead us to the answer to how she came to both become pregnant and fall off a bridge.
I enjoyed this book but it didn’t move me like I expected it to. Everything I expected to happen, happened. Even the little bit of suspense in the whodunnit gave off enough misdirection vibes that even the most casual reader would realize that it was a false trail. It ended like I expected it to and now we’re here.
I have to admit that when I started, and the doctor told Abi that he couldn’t take Olivia off life support because in Washington state it’s illegal to take a woman off life support without attempting to bring the baby to term, I thought this was going to be a legal-type book. I thought Abi might attempt to figure out what happened to Olivia while fighting a legal battle about how women aren’t just incubators. There was a point to be made, even if subtly, that was never even addressed. The doctors help Olivia’s body fight off infection after infection to keep her working just long enough to get the baby out alive, and every time the story took me to the hospital I felt myself get a little angry. Like it wasn’t bad enough that she was basically murdered, she couldn’t have just been released into oblivion in peace without being forced to be on life support while being life support. I was just so tired and angry for her.
This one is a book that you could read, but if you didn’t read it you wouldn’t have missed anything. Don’t rush to it, but if it crosses your path give it a chance.
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