If they were to help one another out, what harm could it do?

Fiction - Womens
497 Pages
Reviewed on 07/04/2023
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Author Biography

Louise has been writing since she was a teenager, and studied English and Philosophy in UCC. While working in retail, she nurtured her love of writing by taking creative and journalistic courses. Now a civil servant, she has been dabbling in writing novels and poetry for the last twenty years. A couple of poems have made it into print, but she never expected to finish a novel. Strangers is the first to make it to the finish line, and only thanks to the extra eight hours a week she gained working from her home in County Cork during the pandemic. She hopes to keep the momentum going...

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gitel Hesselberg for Readers' Favorite

Rachel is pregnant. Her boyfriend, Chris, would be thrilled if he knew. But, instead of telling him, she runs away to have the baby and gives it up for adoption. Anna wants nothing more than to be a mother, but she has been unable to conceive and is too old to adopt. When Anna meets Rachel, events are set in motion that will have far-reaching consequences. Anna’s husband, Jim, doesn’t want to be a father. After Rachel gives Anna her baby, then leaves, Jim goes with her. Strangers by Louise O’Loughlin follows two families over the next 22 years. Along with them, we experience birth, death, marriage, and divorce—the whole panoply of human existence. Secrets are kept. Secrets are revealed. Decisions are made. Nobody would have been able to predict their future.

I found the characters in Strangers by Louise O’Loughlin flawed but incredibly human. Like all of us, they faced challenges. Like all of us, they didn’t always deal with those challenges as best as possible. My first impression of Rachel was unfavorable, but as I got to know her and understood where she came from, it became easy to care about her. Would she ever find happiness with a man? It didn't seem that way. The best man in her life, her friend Don, was gay. If only she could find a man just like Don. I really enjoyed this book, and by the end, I truly cared about all the characters and certainly needed some tissues.