Review – The Word Game

The Word GameThe Word Game by Steena Holmes

Published November 3, 2015

Lake Union Publishing



My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a long time fan of Steena Holmes so I was very excited to have the opportunity to read and review this book. The first book I read that she wrote was Finding Emma and I really enjoyed it. Since then I’ve enjoyed many of her other books, most recently was The Memory Child, which I loved. So I was pretty positive I would like this book….I was right!

“But the issue here isn’t a ‘she said versus she said’ one.”

“Of course it is. It’s a word game after all. Who’s telling the truth? Who’s lying? Who’s hiding something?”

Alyson Ward’s family members seem to think she is a “helicopter parent.” A mother who is extremely overprotective and constantly hovering nearby. I can see how they would think that but I can also understand why she is so overprotective.

When Alyson gives in and allows her daughter Lyla to go to a sleepover it’s a big deal for her. What may seem simple to other parents is Alyson trying to let go a little and let her daughter have some fun with her cousin and dance friends. The sleepover is at her sister Tricia’s house which makes her feel more confident in her decision to let Lyla go. She even finds that she is able to let loose a little and enjoy the child-free time. However, when Lyla comes home the next day she talks to her mother about what happened at the sleepover. What she reveals has the potential to tear their family and friends apart.

I loved the relationship that Alyson has with her daughter. She tells her everyday that no matter what she will always believe her daughter and stand by her. I feel that it was because of this that Lyla felt safe enough to tell her mother everything that happened. I’m not saying that the other mothers were not good parents, but because of something that happened in Alyson’s past she wanted her daughter to know that she could count on her…no matter what.

The dynamics of this family are quite complicated. Their relationships are strained and there is obviously some painful issues in their past that they have not dealt with completely. Things that will affect how they each deal differently with what is happening right now.

The book was a nice quick read. 207 pages long – just the right amount of pages in my opinion. I also liked the multiple point of view from Alyson, Tricia, Myah, and Alyson and Tricia’s mother, Ida.

Steena Holmes writes about relationships extremely well. Especially complicated ones. The relationship between Alyson and her daughter, Lyla. The adult friendships, The different relationships that each grown daughter has with their mother, and even the touching and heartwarming relationships between the children. We see how ‘family’ is often more than just being related by blood. How we can all come together in a time of tragedy, deal with our issues old and new and above all, how we can help each other heal.

The author writes about difficult subjects with such sensitivity. Although the main issue in this book is very upsetting, I felt that she did a wonderful job of giving us the story of what happened without going into a lot of unnecessary detail.

I highly recommend this book!!!

I received a free copy of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review .

View all my reviews


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