I’m honestly a week late with this post, as I finished the Sunday before last and then forgot to post it last Friday. And I would have forgotten to post it this week, but my Aunty Tammy told me that she likes to read these, so thank her for this one.
In C A Wittman’s The Other Nadia Bisset, Carla Bisset faces every parent’s worst nightmare when she wakes up to find one of her twins missing, along with her new best friend. And while many may have thought that Carla was crazy to trust a stranger, the kidnapper may have been closer than they all knew.
There was so much going on with this book that I felt like I needed to start a bookTube just so I could do a spoilers review. The Other Nadia Bisset touches on a lot of subjects, like incest, pedophilia, obsession, racism, mixed babies who look nothing like their mother, not having a good support system as a young mother, and some good old-fashioned adultery. Carla Bisset goes through quite a bit during this book, and I think what plagues her the most is just how much of it is withheld from her.
First thing’s first, this book does not have a clear conclusion. I didn’t figure that out until I had already finished. This is just book one of the Dawn of Lilith series. Where Wittman plans to go with it, I’m not sure, but just know that it’s a bunch of sex magic. And not the good kind either.
We are introduced to Carla Bisset as a struggling, young mother of eighteen-month-old twins with a husband that doesn’t bother to help. Her marital issues are compounded by her postpartum depression, but it’s pretty easy to see that her husband is especially not-great. Carla’s mother quickly becomes disinterested in being a grandmother, and Carla ultimately finds herself sinking in her role as the primary caregiver for her twin girls.
The perfect target for Krista Temple’s sinister plans.
I just want to stop here and point out that we’re not immediately made aware that Carla is a black woman. I might be wrong, but the first time anyone notes Carla’s race is her racist neighbor. And it changes the story a bit, in that it makes the reveal even more sinister. Like, there’s a part where we see a picture of the kidnapper with a set of newborns, but we don’t know that it’s the kidnapper until the end, and by then it’s like, “look how much these kids look like everyone but their real mother”.
Carla gets a tarot card reading at some point during the story, and, because of what was said, I began to think that she may have been an unsuspecting surrogate. She might as well have been with how the story plays out.
Back to the neighbor, she somewhat redeems herself throughout the story, but she never truly lets go of those old prejudices. Passive racism and prejudice comes up alot in this story, both with the neighbor and Carla’s mother’s aversion to Hispanics. There’s also some stuff with the lead detective’s past, but I suspect that Wittman will dive deeper into that in the next book.
When I first started this novel, I felt like Wittman was telling me way too much. I knew Krista Temple was the kidnapper long before she actually took one of the babies. To be fair, I felt like I knew the outcome from the summary that was posted on BookSirens, but the full reveal blew me away in the end. So, I ultimately came to like how Wittman would tell you things, and then flesh it out later.
It needs to be said that Carla’s husband should come with his own trigger warning. If you have an attraction to Frenchmen, this book is not for you. It’s revealed that Carla met her husband when she was sixteen, and they’d been in a “romantic” relationship from the beginning. I originally wanted to let it go because I know that the age of consent/majority in France may be younger than it is in the States, but it’s later revealed that he is definitely an ephebophile and has practiced hebephilia at a point. (Shout out to Wikipedia) He’s also a rapist, so there’s no hope for redemption here.
While there were some plots that didn’t play out the way that I thought they would have, I appreciate that Wittman wrote this novel in a way that allowed me to basically devour the majority of it when I finally made the decision to come back to it. In the beginning, I didn’t know how Carla’s discovery of her missing daughter was going to play out, especially considering the way it was set up, so I put the book down until I was ready. Thankfully, most people decided to believe her, and the cops didn’t push as hard as they could have.
Ultimately, I liked this book. The jury is still out on whether I would read the sequel, but I wouldn’t outright say no. There’s definitely a good bit of suspense, thrill, and the reveals are worth the read. I would recommend this to any fan of suspense thrillers.
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