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Review: Blood Family by Anne Fine

Edward is four years old when he is locked away with his mother by her abusive, alcoholic partner, Harris. By the time an elderly neighbour spots his pale face peering through a crack in the boarded-up window and raises the alarm, he is seven.

Rescue comes, but lasting damage has been done. Sent to live with a kindly foster family, and then adopted, Edward struggles to adapt to normal life. Even as a teenager it's still clear to his new family and schoolmates there's something odd about him.

Then one fateful day, Edward catches a glimpse of himself in a photograph. What he sees shocks him to the core - a vision of Harris. Was this monster his father all along? And does that mean that, deep down, another Harris is waiting to break out

Every step of progress Edward has made swiftly begins to unravel, and he has to decide whether his blood will determine his future.

My thoughts
I was completely and utterly drawn in by this book and finished it in one sitting.

Blood family for me was all about the nature / nurture debate and whether or not it is your environment or your genetic make up that dictate the type of person you will become. I found the way this was debated within this book utterly engrossing to the point where I literally couldn't put it down.

Blood family tells the story of Edward from a variety of different points of view from day he was rescued from a filthy flat by social services. You see him as he goes from temporary foster care through to being adopted by a family and follows his story as he comes to terms about the truth about his family and what it means for him as a person. The way the story explores the themes about genetic makeup and why you become the person you are is fascinating especially when you see the way Edward turns out after learning about his father and begs the question of how different might he have been had he not known. The story is quite dark in places and uncomfortable but for me that's is what made it so good. I particularly enjoyed how the story was told via a wide variety of view points including Edward's as it made for an different way of story telling.

A fantastically dark and insightful read which I would highly recommend.


You've just reminded me that I still have this on my shelf yet to read. I'm really looking forward to it.