Reviewed by Denise G.

The Cradle is the first novel for Patrick Somerville, although his book of short stories, Trouble, was published in 2006. He has also taught creative writing and English at Northwestern University, Cornell, Auburn State Corr. Facility, and The Graham School in Chicago, so he knows a thing or two about how to spin a yarn and keep his readers interested in the story.

As the story begins, we meet a young couple about to become parents for the first time. Marissa is determined that her baby will be rocked in the same cradle that she slept in so many years ago. Trouble is, that cradle disappeared, along with her mother, when she was just fifteen. Her husband, Matt, wanting to make her happy, that at first appears to be a wild goose chase. After several twists and turns, Matt finds the object of Marissa’s desire- but he also finds so much more.

Meanwhile, Somerville introduces us to another family whose son is going off to war in Iraq. When the mother inadvertently takes the wrong medication on a plane ride, she lets loose with all of the pent-up emotions she’s withheld since giving her son up for adoption when her boyfriend was killed in Vietnam.

The stories of the two families are alternated throughout the novel and eventually become intertwined. However, the real story is one of facing your past and coming to grips with how it has affected your relationships and how you will move forward with this greater knowledge.

The Cradle has been critically acclaimed, and made many “Best of 2009” lists. I have already scoped out Patrick Somerville’s website to find out that his next book, Good Sense, is in the works. I will be one of the first in line to pick up a copy!

With a diverse but unsatisfying career background, Denise made the decision to pursue what she loves: writing! Her first novel, of course, is in the works. More info about her is available at her blog http://makemoney-writingonline.blogspot.com.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Dog’s Eye View Media. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.