Adult book reviews, Book Reviews

The Unusual Abduction of Avery Conifer by Ilsa Evans- ARC Review


My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  1 September 2021

Format: E-Arc

Pages: 400

Publisher: Harlequin


Two women abduct and hide out with their four-year-old granddaughter Avery, who they suspect is being harmed. They both love Avery … shame they can’t stand each other. A wise and witty novel for readers of Sophie Green and Brooke Davis.

What would you do to protect a child?

Beth’s daughter Cleo and Shirley’s son Daniel used to be married. Now Cleo is in gaol for supposedly contravening a family violence order, and Daniel has full-time care of their four-year-old daughter, Avery.

When Shirley suspects that Daniel is harming Avery, she enlists Beth to abduct their own granddaughter, even though the two women can’t stand each other. They are joined on the run across country Victoria by Winnie, Shirley’s own 89-year-old tech-savvy mother, and Harthacnut, Beth’s miniature schnauzer.

The abduction gives rise to crises both personal and social, as Shirley’s large and interfering family – including her toxic son – struggle to come to terms with her actions, amid a whirl of police investigation and media excitement. This heartfelt, wise, witty and wholly original novel explores of the lengths we may go to for those we love, and the unintended damage folded into daily life.



Thank you so much to Harlequin for sending me a copy of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review!

When Shirley finds evidence her granddaughter, Avery, is being physically harmed, and not for the first time, she decides she’s going to have to do something. And that something is taking her granddaughter and her 89 year old mother on the run. On the way she visits Avery’s other grandmother, Beth.  Beth’s daughter is estranged from Shirley’s Son and in prison for breaching an AVO.  Beth insists on coming along, with her miniature schnauzer, despite the women’s intense dislike for each other.  As all three women buckle in to do what’s best for Avery, they’ll each need to confront their own family bias, their past and try to put their irritation with each other aside. 

I’ve come to realise sassy old women characters are my absolute favourite thing and the great grandma, Winnie, was one of the best. Full of surprises, wisdom and hilarious sass, I want to be her when I’m 89.  

For a book with such hard hitting topics (child abuse, prison and family drama), there were still plenty of laughs mixed in with the tears. 

There were quite a lot of points of view to keep track of and I did have some difficulty remembering who some of the side characters were until I was part way through their chapters, but it didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the book for me. As well as points of view from the 2 grandmothers, great grandmother and Avery herself, there were chapters from Beth’s daughter Cleo in gaol, Avery’s father, his new girlfriend, his sister, a couple of police detectives, a few news reporters and maybe even more? 😅 It did keep the story interesting though and I enjoyed seeing what was happening from all corners of the unfolding drama. 

I loved every second of the journey with this unlikely group of ladies and highly recommend giving this one a read! 

Image from my Instagram account

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