2022 Reviews · Book Stack · contemporary fiction · domestic · new release · thriller

New Release Book Review: Someone Else’s Child By Kylie Orr

Title: Someone Else’s Child

Author: Kylie Orr

Published: June 1st 2022

Publisher: HQ Fiction – AU

Pages: 352

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary, Domestic, Thriller

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

A gripping contemporary novel from a magnificent new talent that tackles the almost unbreakable loyalty of female friendships, the generosity of community and the lengths we will go to save a child.

Ren will do anything for her best friend, Anna. The news that Anna’s daughter Charlotte has terminal brain cancer sends them on a desperate hunt for a cure and their only hope lies in an expensive European drug trial.

Ren jumps on board Anna’s fundraising efforts, willing to put everything on the line – her reputation in their close-knit community and all the money she can beg or borrow – to secure Charlotte’s place. When the local charity drive quickly becomes a nationwide campaign, townspeople start asking questions about the trial. Questions Ren can’t answer.

The more she uncovers, the more Ren realises the truth is darker than she could ever imagine. Are there any lines that won’t be crossed in their fight for Charlotte?


Melbourne based writer Kylie Orr has fifteen years worth of experience in the publishing industry after releasing many feature articles for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Now the domestic noir genre beckons this debut author thanks to the publication of Someone Else’s Child. A book that features moral boundaries, ethical dilemmas, community relations, family stresses, health issues and female friendship, Kylie Orr’s first book is a thought-provoking tale.

Someone Else’s Child examines a very difficult situation. We meet a young girl named Charlotte who has tragically been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. This devastating news rattles Charlotte’s family and the community in which she lives. Charlotte’s family, friends and extended unit all rally together to help find a cure for the little girl. This concerned community’s only hope for Charlotte comes in the form of a very expensive drug trial in Europe. Soon a fundraising campaign is put in place and Charlotte’s mother Anna is supported by her best friend Ren, who will literally doing anything to save Charlotte. But suspicions are soon raised about this drug trial by the local community who are funding this life saving trip. Will Charlotte’s life be saved?

Kylie Orr’s debut novel has attracted the attention of the coveted Richell Prize, after it was longlisted by the respected award. Someone Else’s Child has also received positive recognition from the MsLexia International Novel Competition. Most recently, this novel has been selected as the June Book Stack read. Highly ethical, perplexing, dark, intriguing and unsettling, Someone Else’s Child was a book that I knocked off in just two close sittings.

A slow burn style plot directs Someone Else’s Child into an unknown spot, full of speculation, uncertainty, mistrust, dread and intrigue. As I read this book a terrible sense of unease washed over me as I started to formulate an opinion around this book’s path. I didn’t like the feeling at all and a deep pit seemed to develop in my stomach. When children are involved, my alarm bells start to ring. Little Charlotte’s illness really shook me to my core, it was very upsetting to read about this situation. When the local town and Charlotte’s extended unit started to make plans to save her, my spirits lifted a little. However, once the truth began to be unveiled via a plot twist, I felt that sense of terrible sense of unease return. Orr really ramps up the tension, emotion and general agitation of this novel. With plenty of realistic and representational characters, combined with believable dialogue, the race is definitely on to get to the pulsating conclusion of this tale.

Someone Else’s Child is a book that should be on your reading list this winter. Congratulations to Kylie Or on her debut release, I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this new voice in Australian domestic fiction.

Someone Else’s Child by Kylie Orr was published on 1st June 2022 by HQ Fiction – AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Someone Else’s Child, Kylie Orr, visit here.

*I wish to thank Harlequin Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.


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