Review: The Cradle
It’s 1997 and Matt and Marissa are a young married couple expecting their first baby in a month or so. Marissa’s mother left her family when Marissa was 15 and Matt is an orphan. When Marissa is 8 months pregnant she decides the baby must have the cradle she slept in as a child and wants Matt to get it for her. The problem is that Marissa’s mother took the cradle with her when she left. The only lead Matt has is an address for Marissa’s aunt (her mother’s sister). After driving miles and visiting several people besides Marissa’s aunt, Matt finds the cradle, but he also finds a little boy who no one wants and discovers he’s Marissa’s half-brother.
It’s 2008 and Bill and Renee’s son, Adam, has decided to enlist in the Army so that he can fight in Iraq. This is devastating to Renee because her first love died in Vietnam. Bill knows about her first love, but not about the fact that she had a baby by him that she gave up for adoption.
The Cradle by Partick Somerville melds these two stories together. It took me a little while to figure out how the two stories are related, but once I had an idea, I couldn’t put the book down. My only complaint about the book is that the end of the story isn’t developed enough. I enjoyed all of the detail at the beginning of the book. Once Matt found the cradle and Marissa’s half-brother, the detail ended and the story was wrapped up quickly. The ending is satisfactory, though. This is Patrick Somerville’s first novel and if it’s any indication, I think he has great potential as a writer. The Cradle will be published by Hachette Books on March 9, 2009.