cover image All She Ever Wanted

All She Ever Wanted

Rosalind Noonan. Kensington, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-7582-7498-4

A comprehensive character study in postpartum depression transforms into a mother's abduction nightmare in Noonan's new novel (after The Daughter She Used to Be). Chelsea Maynard, formerly a DIY household project maven who catalogued her hands-on experiences for a magazine, sinks to new lows as an unemployed, at-home mom with a cranky newborn, Annabelle. Husband Leo Green shoulders some of the parenting duties while Chelsea's despondency grows, but is at a loss to restore his wife to the confident woman she used to be. Furthering her melancholy is the health insurance company denying claims and delaying payments for the newly struggling family. Noonan has a knack for melodramatic page-turners and doesn't disappoint, but at times a pedantic tone undermines the immediacy of Chelsea's depression, pushing the reader out of the story at the expense of detail and accuracy. Nevertheless, it's easy to empathize with Chelsea, always at the whim of her mood swings and wishing she could go back to her old life. Although a kidnapping twist halfway in feels contrived, the circumstances of the abduction and Chelsea's ongoing travails make for a readable tale. (Jan.)