“Child of Another Kind” by Steven Decker

Cynthia and Maddie. Mother and daughter. Love and devotion. An urge to protect and a wish to be equal to the expectations. A familiar pattern for a happy family.

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” a timeless concept Leo Tolstoy introduced almost two centuries ago in his “Anna Karenina” can be applied to this small family. The family that is more unique than others but at the same time quintessential, its members having proved that family ties are stronger than the most formidable powers on Earth and beyond.

“Child of Another Kind” by Steven Decker is a gripping, unputdownable read. In the first chapters, it lulls you into believing you are about to read a different kind of story only to change direction with a bang.

When Cynthia’s dream to become a mother came true and she adopted baby Maddie, she couldn’t imagine where this beautiful journey of being a parent would lead her. We often say that children are a whole new universe, meaning it metaphorically. But in Cynthia’s case, it happens literally. Becoming Maddie’s mother has brought her to places she couldn’t imagine she’d ever visit. And although it shattered her hopes to find herself in a different kind of place, she didn’t succumb to disappointment as others before her.

“Child of Another Kind” is an action-packed story that will take the reader to fascinating destinations, both real and imaginary. And what a vivid imagination the author has! But it’s also a book about a self-discovery journey, both for Cynthia and Maddie.

Cynthia’s faith is what helps her to accept what has happened to her. Her beliefs sustain her while she adapts to the new circumstances despite they, in a way, prove that those beliefs are wrong or not fully compliant with her religion’s teachings. Following her inner transformation, I asked myself the same questions Cynthia was forced to face.

Maddie’s adult life didn’t even start when she had to reassess who she truly is. She always knew she was different; the abilities she had that other people didn’t possess made it absolutely clear. But she found out the whole truth only after it didn’t matter. Learning that she was someone different from who she believed she was, made Maddie realise that her nature didn’t depend on her origins but rather on the experiences and emotions she’d developed along the way.

“Child of Another Kind” makes the reader turn the pages to satiate the curiosity to find out what happens next and how the story ends. Still, it is also the kind of book that leaves you musing about existential issues.

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