“Everyone has a center of gravity. Every family too. It’s the intangible things that make us feel grounded and whole. And it’s different for everyone – a good job, a strong marriage, or a close friendship,” Ava is reminded by Lucy in Laura McNeil’s novel, Center of Gravity.
This three hundred and twenty page paperback targets those who enjoy contemporary romantic suspense. With profanity and using the Lord’s name in vain, topics of physical and mental abuse along with death may not be appropriate for immature readers.
In this tale set in Mobile, Alabama, one family is challenged by lies, deceit, and jealousy while struggling to appear picture-perfect and ideal. Although Ava Carson has been married to Mitchell for only two years, she has adopted his eight-year-old son, Jack, and has given birth to Sam. Life cannot get any better.
Driven by success, control, and never-ending goals, Mitchell has hidden his past as he becomes jealous of his second wife, accusing her of infidelity. Loyal and willing to work on her marriage, Ava wants to make her husband happy, but she is shocked when he files for divorce and gets temporary custody of the two boys. Young and naïve, Jack absorbs himself in superheroes of comic books to deal with the tense situation.
At a complete loss of what to do legally to protect herself, Ava works with the town’s newcomer attorney, Graham, to stay one step ahead of Mitchell’s sinister plans to keep her away from the children. Psychologist Lucy has to determine which parent is better suited to raise the boys.
Written in first person from Ava, Mitchell, Jack, Graham, and Lucy, all play an integral part in dealing with a sociopath whose demand for love and attention challenges a marriage and family relationships.
With this being a debut novel, it is well-written with complex characters and moves along quickly. However, it is marked down for the more-than-usual amount of profanity, uncharacteristic of a Christian publisher such as Thomas Nelson.
As a former television news anchor, author McNeil is a writer, web geek, and traveler. She lives in Alabama with her two sons.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.