Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: The Search Angel

I love when I get completely invested in a story. So much so that I'm not aware of time passing and end up getting a sunburn when I'm reading outside. OK, maybe not the sunburn part. I read The Search Angel by Tish Cohen last weekend in essentially one sitting because I was so into it. And yes, I got a bit of a sunburn because I was paying too much attention to this amazing book and not enough attention to the sun! :) I really wasn't expecting to love this book but I really did. The story grabbed me and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen. 

Here's the synopsis, courtesy of the novel's page on HarperCollins Canada:
As the owner of the upscale children’s boutique Pretty Baby, Eleanor Sweet is surrounded by gleaming strollers, organic cotton onesies and roundbellied expectant mothers. It’s a serene atmosphere of new beginnings—but for the graffiti-splattered record shop next door and Eleanor’s fierce desire for a baby of her own. Her wish is finally granted in the form of Sylvie, an orphaned baby en route from earthquake-stricken Baja California. But when Eleanor’s husband unexpectedly gets cold feet and backs out, her dream of adopting Sylvie is at risk.
Adopted herself, Eleanor has always been reluctant to search out her birth mother, afraid of what she might find. But she is determined to save the adoption and to give Sylvie the family she deserves. Eleanor hires Isabelle, a search angel, to find her birth mother. What Eleanor discovers about love and family isn’t what she expects, but it gives her a new understanding of what it means to be a mother.
Reading about Eleanor was so enjoyable as she was a fabulous character. Even though I think having a baby right now is more of a nightmare than the dream that Eleanor thinks it is (hey, I'm only 26), I could still relate to her and her story. She's wanted a baby for so long that, like many women in her situation, she has become focused on a baby and only a baby. That need really came through the pages and I hurt for her when her ass of a husband (he really wasn't an ass overall but I hate that he hurt her like this) pulls out of the adoption and leaves her. I was just as anxious as she was when she was trying to find her birth mother even though I can't personally know how emotional and tumultuous that would be for someone.

I can't remember ever hearing of search angels before and I think it's a wonderful idea and it was an interesting part of the book. It didn't hurt that Isabelle was a really great character as well! She had an awesome personality but also had her own issues with adoption that were explored as well. Her story complemented Eleanor's and I'm glad we really got to know Isabelle. I kept my fingers crossed that she would be able to find Eleanor's mother and that everything would work out for the best.

I really loved reading about Noel and Eleanor. Noel owns the "graffiti-splattered record store" next to Eleanor's Pretty Baby store and immediately rubs her the wrong way. It's clear what would eventually happen, right? But I loved seeing how their relationship evolved. I could tell where things were likely going to head between the two of them but I found myself conflicted because I didn't feel like there was a clear separation between Eleanor and her husband.

As a fun aside, I loved that Eleanor owned a great dane and I also loved that his name was Angus. My first beta fish was named Angus and my best friend has a great dane so I know what they're like. Every scene with Isabelle and Angus cracked me up because she really didn't like him and compared him to massive things, like a buffalo or UPS truck. As a fun extra, here is a picture of Tron, my BFF's great dane. He's just over a year old now!

Photo courtesy of Marisa's Instagram
Isn't he beautiful? :)

I thought The Search Angel was an amazing and emotional story and I think everyone would enjoy it. I hadn't read any of Tish Cohen's books before this one but she's on my radar now. I loved this book and I definitely recommend it. But, as a word of caution, make sure you put on sunscreen if you start reading this one outside. You don't want to end up with a sunburn! :)

Happy reading :)

*An ARC of this novel was provided by the publisher, HarperCollins Canada, in exchange for an honest review.*


  1. I'm hearing more about this book now. I didn't really think it would be my type of book, but the more I read reviews on it, the more I really want to read it! I love that it's the type of book that you lose yourself in! Thanks for the great review :)

  2. Okay you've convinced me to read this one! Even though I'm not usually the type of person to read "mother" stories (as we discussed in Chapters lol). This one does sound kind of good though!


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