A Necessary End | Holly Brown

TITLE / A Necessary End

AUTHOR / Holly Brown

PUBLISHER / William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins


NO. OF PAGES / 386


Within the pages of Holly Brown's A Necessary End, I discovered some of the most twisted characters I've yet to encounter.

Meet Adrienne and Gabe, a couple that has been together since high school and now lives in California's Bay Area. Gabe is a car salesman and Adrienne teaches at a local elementary school, but their seemingly happy life is darkened by the fact that they are unable to have children of their own. Adrienne has become obsessed with finding a baby she can call her own and makes contact with a potential birth mother, the beautiful nineteen year old Leah. Despite a previous bad experience with a birth mother, Adrienne is convinced that Leah is the one and opens up their home to the girl, even when Leah lays down some pretty shocking conditions.

Meanwhile Gabe, still haunted by his younger brother's suicide, isn't so sure he's interested in becoming a father. Not that his feelings really matter, because Adrienne is determined to get Leah's baby, no matter the cost.

All of the characters in this book are sickening in their selfishness and obsessive behavior. Adrienne is completely single minded to the point that she is willing to throw away her relationship with Gabe and ruin Leah if it means finally getting the baby she's always wanted. Gabe is a middle-aged man with a juvenile mindset, who can't seem to understand why Adrienne would want to throw away their life of weekends at the casino and nights of streamy sex. And Leah, well, that girl was trouble from the second she walked in. You just didn't know exactly how it was going to manifest.

I think part of what makes this novel so scary is that these characters and situations actually seem plausible. There are women out there who want children so badly that they're willing to do practically anything, and there are men who couldn't care less. Even more sadly, there are horrible people willing to prey on these weaknesses. Holly Brown has done a fantastic job of writing characters that are horrifying in their realness.

There were, however, a couple of places where this novel fell flat for me. The first was the seemingly endless descriptions of poker games. Maybe it's because I'm not a card player myself, but I found the lengthy passages describing specific poker moves and strategies so incredibly boring that I eventually started skimming those passages.

Secondly, the ending was entirely disappointing. Holly Brown did such a fantastic job of creating suspense and constantly throwing a wrench in the different character's plans, but in the end I felt she rushed through the ending and it showed. We ended up with one of those nice little endings were things are suspiciously happy and almost all the loose ends are all tied up. I hate endings like that generally, and this one was just so unplausible and out of character that it significantly lowered my opinion of the novel.

All in all, A Necessary End is a unique twist on a pyschological thriller that definitely had me creeped out at every turn. I, for one, would never want any of these people to be left alone with a baby.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid to review or feature the book, and this review is my 100% honest opinion. This is not a sponsored post.

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