I Came to Say Goodbye, Paperback
5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


It was a crime that shocked the world. The CCTV footage shows a young woman pushing through the hospital doors.

She walks into the nursery, picks up a baby and places her carefully in a shopping bag.

She walks out to the car park, towards an old Ford Corolla.

For a moment, she holds the child gently against her breast and, with her eyes closed, she smells her.

Then she clips the baby into the car, gets in and drives off.

This is where the footage ends. What happens next will leave a mother devastated, and a little boy adrift in a world he will never understand.




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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This is another novel by Caroline Overington that sits on the perimeter of crime fiction. Certainly a crime is committed, probably more the one, but the primary focus of the novel is social issues: parents who fail their children, community services that fail their users, bureaucracy that gets in the way of understanding, systems that leave families and their members in limbo.Two primary narrators, Med and his daughter Kat, tell the reader about the tragedies that have overtaken their family through letters to a Family Court judge who is to give a ruling about the custody of a child. We learn of Med's struggle to raise his family on his own after his wife walks out when his youngest child is just two. Med does a pretty good job, but, in his own judgement, just not good enough.The setting is a small coastal town in rural New South Wales. Med's two older children leave, leaving him to raise the younger daughter on his own. Underpinning the story, and giving it a biting edge, is criticism of Australian services that should be providing support for families. Clearly bureaucracy gets in the way of empathy, and cost cutting means that services are reduced. And above all, this novel is well constructed, and a really good read.There are plenty of things to discuss with this novel, and the author provides some further discussion questions after the text.

Review by

Well written.I wasn't sure about this book at first, I was afraid the narrator was going to be difficult to read. But just 10% in, I was completely hooked. I read it in just 7hrs, during a long-haul flight; no TV/movies, my Kindle propped by my in-flight meal, I was totally absorbed. Although set in Australia, there was a lot about this book that could have taken place in England, maybe about ten years earlier, but it was still very nostalgic. The narrator is Med, now in his late fifties, setting forth his whole life story in the hope of convincing a judge of his argument. We don't know what he is after until the end, but by that time we are enthralled by the ups and downs he and his family have suffered over the years.Ms Overington has presented us with some excellent characterisations. In addition to Med, the father, there are his three offspring, Kat, Donna Faye (nick-named Fat) and son, Blue. Donna Faye's unfortunate loser boyfriend, Paul, completes the set, along with Med's wife Pat, who is no longer around but whose absence has long lasting effectsThe style of the book is interesting - we know from the start that a baby is abducted from a hospital nursery but it is well into the book that we finally discover whose baby this is and who has taken her and why. There is also an interesting mix of mental illness and overbearing authorities who take decisions from the parents, sometimes causing more problems than they solve.An excellent read that should make for some interesting book club discussion.

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