The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

The Night Olivia Fell - Christina McDonald

No one ever calls at 3 am to tell you you’ve won the lottery, am I right? When Abi’s phone rings in the middle of the night she knows it’s going to be bad news but she never imagined just how devastating that news was going to be. Her teenage daughter Olivia has been in an accident and the outlook is bleak. She has irreparable brain damage, is on life support and she will never awaken. She’s also pregnant. Poor Abi was not at all prepared for any of this news. 


This is how the book starts so don’t go yelling at me that I’ve spoiled everything. My fingers are in my ears and I am singing “I do not care, it happens in the first five minutes”! Just kidding, sort of. This book isn’t about Olivia’s sad fate. It’s about how and why she ended up braindead and pregnant, poor thing, and also a plethora of other things.


Olivia was always the perfect daughter, the good girl who listened, worked hard and did everything right but Olivia was keeping secrets and so was her mom, Abi. This book goes back and forth in time to tell their stories and I found it fascinating – as I always do with these kinds of tales. I never seem to get sick of peeking in on the lives of the perfect people who are never quite-so-perfect as they first appear.


Olivia is a great character. She’s down to earth and sweet. She keeps secrets and she tells lies but she does so to protect others and herself from pain. I liked Olivia and I don’t typically enjoy teenage characters. There seems to be no malice in her heart unlike many of the people in her circle and her fate left a sad pallor over the whole story. My heart also went out to Abi who must deal so much pain and frustration and fear. The grief of losing her daughter, gaining a grandchild (if the baby survives) and feeling as if no one is taking her seriously when she points out that she believes Olivia’s death wasn’t accidental.


The story is filled with twists and sharp turns but none of them were all that shocking but then again I read a steady diet of horror so I’m pretty unflinchable when it comes to murder and mayhem. The writing here is so engaging that I always wanted to keep going even if I anticipated most of the twisty-twists. I had to know EVERYTHING but especially how poor Olivia met her doom.


THE NIGHT OLIVIA FELL is a tear-jerker, I’m not going to sugar coat that. You know what is going to happen to Olivia from the very beginning and it is so very tragic because by the time the book ends the reader has come to know her quite intimately. So go in prepared to peel some onions at the end so you don’t look like a big baby as I did.