As a topic for a novel, adoption scares me. Especially if like in Keren David’s new book Salvage, you have one sibling adopted by wealthy, successful people and the other sibling put into care. You just feel it can’t end well.

Keren David, Salvage

Starting well (ish) with 18-year-old unadopted Aidan finally finding his two year younger sister Cass, by fluke, it goes downhill as they take a good look at what happened in the past, and what might happen now, before there is a resolution.

Because this is what Keren does really well. She makes a bad situation as good as it can get, without resorting to ridiculous happy ever afters. I must remember this, and trust her.

Here Keren has looked at what might happen in the kind of families that almost are the norm these days. Half-siblings with their different parents, and young mothers who try their best in the face of violent partners, and social workers who do both good and sometimes bad.

Cass is the daughter of a cheating MP, so is facing upheaval within her adopted family. Her younger brother is unhappy at school and has no friends. The most desirable boy in the sixth form takes an interest in Cass, and Aidan contacts her out of the blue.

This could so easily go wrong – as a novel, I mean – but it doesn’t. Read and enjoy.

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