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My Mother's Shadow

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,258 ratings  ·  114 reviews

Addie thinks she knows everything about her mother. But when a stranger appears claiming to be her sister, she realises that her life so far has been a lie. But why?

Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Santa Montefiore.

Hartland House has always been a faithful keeper of secrets...

1958. Sent to beautiful Hartland to be sheltered from her mother's illness, Liz spends the

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Review (first published 2017)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,258 ratings  ·  114 reviews

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Joanna Park
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
My Mother’s Shadow is definitely a book that is going to stay with me for a long time. The poignant story line is deeply affecting, especially when read as a mother of two children, I found that i often had a lump in my throat whilst reading about Elizabeth’s horrific experiences. It’s hard to believe that people judged and treated people so cruelly over so little without realizing the damaging effects that it would have on all concerned. I’m very thankful that thinking has now moved on and we ...more
Trish at Between My Lines
Do you like family secrets, characters to root for, and a book that whisks you away on an emotional rollercoaster? If you’re nodding your head, then My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott is a book you need to take note of.

Balancing the books is a quick fire review where I list the assets and liabilities of a book (as I see them) and leave you decide if you think this book is worth investing in.

The Assets of My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott:

Mother/Daughter theme : I lap up mother/daughter themes
Dale Harcombe
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The year is 1958. In an effort to shield Elizabeth from her mother’s illness, Elizabeth is sent by her parents to stay Harland House with the Shaw family. It is meant to be a pleasant stay, but there Elizabeth finds more than she ever expected. And even though there is joy, lasting sorrow is never far away.. In the present day story Adele, usually known as Addie, is mourning the death of the mother she feels she could never please enough. Younger sister Venetia always seemed to be the favourite ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The first thing I noticed while reading My Mother's Shadow, is how beautiful everything is described. I really felt like I was right there in the house of secrets. This story fascinated me with all the family history. I must say that I particularly loved a certain line describing the moon....Or maybe it's the moon that has made people giddy tonight, the way it hangs in the sky as if pinned there, low above the stables and bursting full with a strange orange light. This just goes to show how
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Mother’s Shadow alternates between the late 1950’s and the present day and is an engrossing read of family secrets and deception.

The story begins in the present day with Addie and her family gathering at home to remember the first anniversary of the death of her mother, Elizabeth. Her death was so unexpected and they are still struggling to come to terms with their loss. The last thing they need is someone turning up on the doorstep claiming to be Addie’s sister.

Elizabeth had a difficult and
Karen Mace
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such an engaging, emotional book that mixes the dual timelines so well, that once I had started reading I just couldn't put it down.

What happens when you find out that when you thought you knew someone, it turns out you knew very little? This is what happens to Addie after her mother Elizabeths' death. She always had a difficult relationship with her mother and never could understand why, but a year after her death another woman appears on the doorstep claiming to be Elizabeths'
Abby Slater- Fairbrother
I wanted to read this novel, as it is debut and I always like to support debut authors. What I will say is, this novel absolutely blew me away! I was left emotional and teary, just staring at the book and thinking ‘I can’t believe this is a debut novel!’. It had me gripped from the start and is loaded with scenes that pull at the heart strings! I cannot recommend this novel enough!

The novel is set between two eras, with two central protagonists. In 1958 the protagonist is Liz. A young woman,
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was sent this book to read and review

The story first starts in 1958 when Elizabeth is sent to the country in Sussex to a beautiful country home. But Elizabeth meets and falls in love with a man. Inevitably you can guess she becomes pregnant as the story then changes to years later when Elizabeth's daughter Addie is around. But one day she opens the door to her home to a huge surprise. A woman is standing there claiming to be her twin. But her mother has never mentioned she has a sibling. Is
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historical family drama where consequences are far reaching and disastrous.
It took me a while to get into this book, though not quite sure why. The two storlines flow well, Adele's story in the present, and Elizabeth's in the past. I've found Elizabeth's storyline more gripping, the diary style retelling of her life gave insight into a young girl's feelings, her struggle with her mother's terminal illness, a cold father, first love and the time's rigidness to give importance to appearences
Lauren Tess'x
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Is this really Nikola’s debut novel?! It most certainly read like a 5th book of the authors.

My mother’s shadow is a gripping family story with a twist – one that I certainly didn’t see coming! I felt it also reflects on the love and loss between a family.

Nikola has a beautiful yet descriptive writing style. Whilst I was reading, I really felt like I was in the story.

My mother’s shadow is a powerful story that at times will frustrate you and at other times will move you – you may find you
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
My Mother's Shadow is an excellent title for this smart, difficult and, at times, uplifting novel. The shadow controls both mother and daughter, deadening feelings and threatening happiness. The shadow of 1950s debilitating morality turns a naïve, joyful young woman into an exacting mother, for whom her first daughter's achievements are never enough. That it does not impinge upon her second daughter and third child, a boy foreshadows the story of the first pregnancy and its aftermath.

The story
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating novel with flasbacks to the 1950s’. Interesting, touching, heartbreaking. The author had done thorough research and she used her imagination extremely well to weave the fabric of the story so that it formed a believable entity. I had tears in my eyes many times. Recommended reading for anyone interested in family history, mother-daughter relationships, underage pregnancy in the 1950s’ (in the UK), bonding between parents and children, the power of true love, etc.
Jackie Law
My Mother’s Shadow, by Nikola Scott, is not a book I would have chosen by the cover, looking as it does like some sort of romance. And it does have a romance thread, but underplayed enough not to detract from the main plot which involves a family secret kept for decades. When offered a proof I was told that the writing would appeal to those who enjoyed Kate Morton’s books (I remember liking The House at Riverton). Again, this comparative marketing often leaves me cold but the synopsis intrigued. ...more
Angela Smith
This is a novel of missed opportunities and secrets as well as hope for the future. The book is told from two different perspectives, through the pages of the diaries of Elizabeth Harington who is recently deceased at the beginning of the story and of one of her daughters, (Addie)

Addie feels she has never been able to live up to her mother's expectations and because of that while her mother was alive their relationship was often strained. It is only after the death of her mother and the fact the
Debbie Littley
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, Atmospheric and a rollercoaster of emotions

1958 A perfect summer, a young woman in love and having the time of her life.
1999 A family come together on the 1st anniversary of their mother’s death.

This book is written in dual narrative, Addie who is the oldest out of her 2 other siblings, and then through diaries written by their mother Elizabeth Harrington in the 1950’s.
Present day the Harrington family, Graham, the father and his three grown up children, Adele (Addie)
Review my latest escape
I got this book for my birthday a few months back, not having heard of it before. But while reading the blurb on the back, I quickly decided to give it a shot and put it next on my TBR list. I love a good secret!

My Mother’s Shadow has a Slice of Life feel to it that I love, making it a good escape for the two weeks it took me to read it. Scott’s writing style is quite straight forward, and I personally found it to be a dyslectic friendly read (which is a must for me to really enjoy it). It keeps
Michelle Ryles
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
In her debut novel, My Mother's Shadow, Nikola Scott uses the tried and tested dual timeline to draw readers into the story and it works a treat. With secrets to uncover, the pages turn effortlessly as we learn the story of Elizabeth Holloway through her diary excerpts. Her eldest daughter, Addie, never felt as if she was good enough for her mother and her mother's death a year prior means that Addie can never get answers to the questions that still float around in her head.

As the Harrington
Beth (bibliobeth)
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, a huge thank you to Becky Hunter and the team at Headline for sending me a copy of this fantastic debut novel by Nikola Scott in exchange for an honest review. My Mother's Shadow is a cosy and compelling read that I found myself instantly intrigued by and it was easy to race through it as I became determined to discover the root of the mystery which also provided a very satisfying conclusion. I'm also a huge fan of a dual timeline and was delighted to realise that I enjoyed the ...more
Jo Shaw
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

In December I entered a competition on Nikola Scott's website to win a copy of one of her books. I had read and loved her second novel Summer of Secrets, so when she told me I had won, I was delighted to receive a signed copy of My Mother's Shadow, which was her debut novel.

I have always loved dual timeline stories, because of the way they combine historical with contemporary, and it just works for me. This book is set partly in 1958, and 42 years later. In 1958 we meet Elizabeth who at nearly
Pam Robertson
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading My Mother's Shadow. It was partly because of the gorgeous writing style which evokes the place and time so beautifully but also because the characters are so elegantly drawn. The story moves along two different timelines, one in 1958 and one in the present day. It is intriguing to see not just the differences in attitudes in the two times, but also to pick out the similarities between the two women. Motherhood and in particular relationships between mothers and ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nikola Scott is a tremendous writer with the depth it takes to write a variety of scenes and emotions without becoming repetitive in how she does so. The writing flows seamlessly and each character is easily recognizable by how they are written.

One of the things I enjoyed about the book is that is was a wandering journey with subtle plot and character development throughout, rather than a race to the finish. Many authors race to get you to major plot and character points, making the development
Nicola Smith
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Mother's Shadow is recommended for readers who also enjoy Kate Morton, which is me. I'm pleased to report that I agree with this and Nikola Scott is now an author whose future books I will look forward to reading.

This book is a dual time narrative story. The majority of it is made up of Addie telling us about the year that has passed since her mother's death. They had a sometimes difficult relationship that Addie has never been able to understand the reason for, especially as her mother and
Rohase Piercy
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful debut novel from Nikola Scott, very moving and harrowing in parts and the story unfolds at just the right pace to draw the reader in. The two-part narration, with Elizabeth's diary from 1958 alternating with Adele's present-day frustration with her recently deceased mother works very well, as Elizabeth's story unfolds in tandem with Adele and Phoebe's frantic efforts to get to the bottom of why she kept one twin and apparently gave the other away for adoption. The description ...more
My Mother's Shadow is a beautifully written book that pulled out all the emotions; humor, grief, anger, joy, and contentment. Addie has always had a contentious relationship with her mom so when her mom dies she doesn't know how to react she's congratulating herself for how well she's dealing with the loss. But now a year after her death a woman (Phoebe) is on her father's doorstep claiming to be her sister, her twin sister. How could this be? Addie knows everything about her parents, sure they ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The information on the back of this novel says, "Hartland House has always been a faithful keeper of secrets." Since finishing it, I have been trying to make this quote agree with what I read; neither the house nor the people in it during the summer of 1958 seem to be hiding anything. Liz, or Elizabeth, is sent there to be away from the impending death of her beloved mother and is exposed to a different lifestyle and different people. But it is nearly forty years later that secrets and lies are ...more
Melisa Broadbent
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a beautifully written book matched by it’s equally beautiful cover.

We are introduced to Addie and her family who are mourning the death of her mother Elizabeth who passed away unexpectedly a year ago and they are all equally feeling the loss and trying to deal with it in different ways.

Out of the blue, a stranger turns up on the doorstep and introduces herself as Elizabeth’s daughter. Rightfully the family are stunned and in disbelief about this revelation. It makes you think how
Stepj Gear
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very sad story about how a woman finds her long-lost sister, a sister that she didn't even know existed until after her mother's passing. When we first meet Addie, we see her as a woman who is broken, someone who needs to have her heart-filled with love. In comes Phoebe, who tells Addie that she is her twin sister, someone that she didn't know about until recently. As Addie and Phoebe try to figure out what to do with this newfound information, the author delves into their mother's ...more
Sally Coles
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Addie and her family are together for the one year anniversary of the death of her mother Elizabeth when there she takes a phone call in her mother's study from what appears to be a private detective .........what on earth could her mother be needing one for! There is then a knock at the door and a woman, Phoebe turns up claiming to be Addie's sister but how can this be possible........Addie is determined to get to the truth

Liz's story is then told in 1958 when she was sent to stay at the
I did enjoy this but it took me a while to get through it, I just didn’t feel compelled to keep returning to it although enjoyed it whenever I did. I read a lot of similar books in this genre so perhaps the reveals and plot twists have become a little samey. Or maybe I just picked a bad time to pick up a large book. That said, I’d read more by this author as it was well written, the plot hung together well with no major issues, poor communication was obviously a big thread here but that’s normal ...more
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Nikola Scott was born and raised in Germany and studied at university there. Having been obsessed with books from a young age, Nikola moved to New York City after her Master's degree to begin her first job in book publishing, a career in which she could fully indulge her love of fiction!

She spent ten years working in publishing in New York and then in London, editing other people's books, before