The Night Olivia Fell – Christina McDonald


I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

Abi Knight is sound asleep in her bed when she’s awakened by an early morning phone call summoning her to the hospital, as her Olivia has been in an accident. Stumbling to Olivia’s room, Abi opens the door to find her bed empty – and reality comes crashing in. Upon arriving at the hospital, Abi learns that Olivia was found at the base of the local Zig Zag bridge, and has sustained a severe closed head injury, leaving her with a critical brain injury, despite emergency surgery and life support. But the doctor is not done. Olivia, Abi learns, is pregnant as well. As a result, by law, she must remain on life support until the baby can be safely delivered.

When she’s able to see her daughter, Abi sees bruising on her wrist, and a bracelet she always worn is missing, making Abi certain that someone has harmed her daughter. Despite Abi’s concerns, the police consider her injuries accidental, leaving Abi to search for answers on her own.

Told from the perspectives of both Olivia and Abi, the story reverts to the events of months prior, inviting the reader to partake in the active life of Olivia – an average teenager who thinks her mom is overprotective, and wonders why her birth father’s identity is such a secret. You’ll meet her best friend Madison, her football star boyfriend Tyler, and you’ll meet Kendall – a young woman who looks amazingly like Olivia – and explore that relationship with her.

Meanwhile, you’ll grieve with Abi as she tries to bring the last few months of her daughter’s life into focus in an effort to understand what happened that night. Each player invites your suspicion as to their role in Olivia’s fall and injuries, and you’ll be changing your mind with each page you turn. But, mostly, you’ll cry – or at least I did – as Abi searches for answers, and deals with the heartbreak of the imminent loss of her only child…

This was a great first novel by Ms. McDonald that will stay in your mind and heart well after the last page is turned, and have you wondering (as I am), just how well you know your child? A poignant, heartfelt read – not to be missed!!