The Barter

The Barter - Siobhan Adcock This book was slow to start but then it picked up. I loved the depth of the characters. Neither of these ladies is in a typical marriage and their stories are interesting, although a bit slow at times. The relationships between these two woman separated by decades have some things in common, they are both lost in their roles as mother and wives. I found The Barter an enjoyable read by about chapter 4. The ghost in this book was not very believable, but I guess everyone’s ghost story is unique.

These woman are both willing to give up something for their children. Bridget is our modern day mom. Bridget has the pressure of money woos and play groups. She has a lot going on as a stay at home mom. I believe a lot of new moms could relate to her story. She struggles to reconnect with her husband after a baby and fit in with the top moms of the neighborhood. Bridget gave up her job as an attorney to raise her daughter. Her husband is absent throughout most of the story, working double time to support his new family. The only thing different for this mom is that she has a ghost living her home. A ghost that her husband can’t see. She is alone in dealing with this thing invading her home.

Rebecca is a woman living in the early 1900′s. Her child rearing looks much different than Bridget’s. She is the daughter to a German immigrant doctor. Rebecca’s mother died shortly after childbirth, so Frau, Rebecca’s father’s cousin, helped raise her. Of the many stories Frau told her, the one of her mother’s bartering an hour of life for her daughter’s happiness troubles Rebecca the most. She contemplates what she would give up for her son’s happiness. Rebecca marries a man she doesn’t especially love and the whole relationship is strained right from the start. Her story was really interesting since her struggles are so different from the modern woman. Daily life is harder and child rearing in this time proves to be much more difficult. Her horrors about the Barter are passed on from her mother.

I was sure by about chapter 2 that the title had nothing to do with the story, and was all about the ghost. I was wrong as this book is all about a Barter. The Barter is with their love for their children. This story about a ghost haunting a new mother is scary. I got a bit sucked into Rebecca’s story as well. The last two chapters left me baffled. After all that these mothers though, went through, and wondered, the story ends abruptly. All the loose ends are tied up by a magician for Rebecca, and a night at a party for Bridget. What happens in these last two chapters is confusing and left me really disappointing by this book. If the ghost story was unbelievable, the ending is even more so. The Barter had some bright spots but I would not recommend this read. I am left wondering what the Barter in this story actually means and what the author was trying to do with this story.