Book Review: The Gifted Son by Genevieve Gannon

About the Book:

A Sydney family’s picture-perfect life is upended in an unputdownable new novel from the bestselling author of The Mothers.

With two bright children, a beautiful home and a husband she’s always depended on, Lillian Hogarth considers herself blessed. Until, on her son Jamie’s final day of high school, he fails to come home. Hospitalised by a coward’s punch, Jamie has been the victim of a muck-up day celebration that went too far.

Lillian’s support is unflinching, even as her world begins to crumble. A son whose fate hangs in the balance, a teenage witness who refuses to name the one who threw the punch, and a husband who’s hiding a secret that could destroy their marriage.

Is this the end of the Hogarth family’s good luck? Or will Jamie’s determination—and Lillian’s love—be the making of them?

Published by Allen & Unwin

Released 10th January 2023

My Thoughts:

This one was more miss than hit for me. I didn’t mind it, but I also didn’t love it. The issues that it focused on differed to my expectations and crowded out the very real trauma of this family dealing with its youngest member suffering an irreparable spinal cord injury.

The issues of systematic bullying and retaliation got lost in the very unrealistic ‘and they all lived happily ever after’ vibe. The spiritual/supernatural aspect distracted from what I wanted to know about Jamie’s recovery and I found his do-good fervour linked to his recovery more a call for concern as to how he was processing his trauma than inspirational.

The most engrossing part of this story was following John’s disintegration over his finances and the toll that was taking on his health and his marriage.

This was my March bookclub pick and I look forward to a lively discussion on it with the other members. It was an easy read, I rarely read a book in a day, but this one posed no challenge, despite the page count. The moralistic debates within this one fall short of comparisons made by other reviewers to Jodi Picoult, in my opinion. Overall, it was not bad, but I didn’t love it and would hesitate to recommend it widely.

The Gifted Son by Genevieve Gannon is my March book club pick.

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

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