Force of Nature
Sue Cook’s second novel was published in 2009.
The trouble with a secret is that someone always knows it…
When Mark Elfick discovers the existence of a daughter he shouldn’t know about, his attempts to become involved in her life nearly destroys two families. A parent’s love for a child is the most natural instinct in the world. But Mark Elfick is not supposed to know she exists.
Modern science is moving at a dizzying pace. It has brought us the wonders of the internet; it has put a camera on Mars; it can give a longed-for baby to a childless couple.
What it can’t do is manage human emotions. And when Mark uncovers a secret – a secret so earth-shattering, it could rip his family apart, science simply abandons him to face an unthinkable dilemma: to try to ignore what he knows and get on with his life, or confront the truth head on, but risk hurting those he loves most?
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Reviews for Force of Nature
The former Crimewatch presenter Sue Cook takes an understandably journalistic approach to her fiction writing, confronting difficult issues head on in pursuit of a good story. In this, her second novel, she explores an extremely plausible “what if” scenario surrounding the miracle of IVF conception and the ethics involved.
The Elficks have conceived a longed-for daughter this way. Chloe is an outgoing 12 year old when her father, Mark, decides to act upon a secret he should never have been told concerning the fate of one of the other embryos he and his wife Jenny conceived, nearly destroying two happy families in the process.
Cook is well-attuned to complex family relationships and has artfully constructed a thought-provoking and compelling drama out of a contemporary dilemma.
Daily Mail, 3rd April 2009
I would position it nearer the Jodi Picoult end of the scale rather than the Maeve Binchey but I see no reason why fans of both authors wouldn’t enjoy this.
Cook is a fine writer with a keen eye for the mechanics of a relationship, for the little, seemingly insignificant moments that define a marriage or a family. In Force of Nature she has combined that talent with a compelling concept and a gripping plot.
Scott Pack – The Friday Project
(read the full review)
This is a wonderful book. Having counselled so many donors and recipients (sperm egg and embryo donation), the emotions running through the minds of all the characters are so real. The way Sue Cook dealt with the counselling sessions was just right. I am not somebody who reads a book in one sitting but on this occasion I could hardly put it down. At the same time I became so involved in Jenny, Mark, Dan and the girls that I didn’t want it to end.
The Revd Dr Tim Appleton – Cell Biologist, Fertility Counsellor
I was absolutely riveted from the beginning…a superb read.
Cheryl Baker – TV presenter and singer