We had the absolute pleasure of Christina McDonald joining in on our Traveling Friends Goodreads discussion as well as our Instagram discussion for her outstanding, emotional, thought-provoking domestic suspense novel The Night Olivia Fell. Christina so gracious with her time, spend two hours chatting with us and answering our questions. She shared some insight into the story and her writing. It was the most incredible reading experience we have had in our groups. After our discussion with Christina there might of been some dancing around the house!
The Night Olivia Fell:Suspenseful and twisty that kept us guessing, so heart-wrenching it left us in tears, a mother’s love and the lengths she will go to protect her child shone through and left us reflecting on our own need to protect our children. Family secrets and the search for the truth left us discussing what we prefer truth or happiness. A mother’s grieve left us hugging our own children.
Affecting, highly irresistible & intensely entertaining!
THE NIGHT OLIVIA FELL by CHRISTINA MCDONALD was an absolutely fabulous novel that I completely devoured and was totally invested in. It was such a moving, suspenseful, enjoyable, and heartfelt tale that immediately evoked emotion and totally grabbed my attention. It opens up with a nightmarish scene that definitely pulled at my heartstrings and had me sitting on the edge of my seat in anguish and despair for Abi and her love for Olivia as we are pretty much privy to Olivia’s fate right from the very beginning.
CHRISTINA MCDONALD delivers an impressive debut that was character-driven, gripping, fast-paced, intriguing and well-written that was told in two timelines between Abi’s perspective after Olivia’s fall and Olivia’s before the accident.
I absolutely love it when a book produces so much emotion from me and has me pondering and guessing the outcome with all the different possible scenarios. This book for me had it all! An emotionally charged & fascinating storyline, realistic & believable character dynamics, and a well-crafted & intense mystery.
One of my worst nightmares. Being woken in the night by a phone call that my child has been in an accident and is in the hospital. This is what happens to Abi Knight. After mysteriously falling off a bridge, her teenage daughter, Olivia, is on life-support with brain damage and no chance of recovery. Upon absorbing the shock of this devastating news, Abi discovers that Olivia is pregnant and must stay on life-support to keep the baby alive.
This story pulled me in right away. I had countless urgent questions from the first few pages. What happened to Olivia? Who is the baby’s father? What was she doing out at night on that bridge? The author, Christina McDonald, does a fantastic job keeping the suspense thick and strong throughout the novel. The characters were extremely well developed, leaving a lasting and impactful impression. The dual timelines and transition between narrators were smooth and powerful, leaving me yearning for just “one more chapter”. The last few chapters had me sobbing and emotionally drained. The Epilogue was so very powerful and perfect.
A look into our Traveling Friends Goodreads discussion
I have to say wow! I love how everything all came together. At one point I suspected everyone throughout reading it. I love how they were so many red herring and believable read flags throughout the story. I loved both perspectives and really thought Christina captured both of them so well. I was really blown away by Olivia’s voice. So realistic and not annoying. Lol I am not sure what I expected going into this one. I think I was thinking it was going to be more like a twisty fast-paced thriller but this was an emotionally fast-paced story that explored a family’s love and secrets. It surprised me how much insight and emotion depth there was to it. Brenda
Well I am adding another “Wowza” comment! This was an amazing book for me and I was a babbling mess in the end. I just loved this book and thought it was pretty much perfect in every way. Norma
I thought the characters were very well developed, the suspense had me intrigued all the way through, the switching perspectives between Olivia and Abi were great. My suspicions were all over the place. Lindsay
Wow! Read this one in two sittings And, it did bring a tear to my eye in the end. I found it to be suspenseful from start to finish, Jayme
Wow – that was an emotional read for me! I shed a few tears. Such a good story! Heidi
I am right there with all of the “WOW” comments! 🙂 This one had it all–suspense, great plot, well-developed characters, and an emotional and satisfying ending. I was not expecting to get all teary at the end, wow.. that was heartbreaking Nikki
I really enjoyed the book too. I think the way it was written starting with Olivia on life support and then delving back into the past to find out how she got there was what made it so suspenseful. Carolyn
I enjoyed how Christina wrote it in both POV. I thought it was easy to follow but also kept you on the end of your seat trying to figure out what really happened. Of course, I kept thinking I figured it out and in the end ALL of my theories were wrong! The writing was captivating, thought-provoking, suspenseful and emotionally charged. I think she did a fantastic job and I cannot wait to read more from her! Chessi
I enjoyed this book right from the first page I liked the chapters being split between the two main characters as you got a little more insight of the storylines about each of them and how different they were from what they each believed. Jess
From our Friends’ review
The Night Olivia Fell immediately drew me in and never let me go. Christina McDonald delivers a novel that blends a little bit of mystery, a little bit of suspense, and a whole lot of emotion into a heart wrenching and thrilling tale
Alternating between past and present, the story unfolds as we hear from Abi and Olivia. The alternating perspectives and timelines truly enhance the story, giving life to these characters and building the momentum of the novel. McDonald does an excellent job capturing both the mom and daughter side, with her teenage-voice for Olivia being especially well executed.
While there are mysteries to be solved and secrets to uncover, there are no super, major shocks or blindsiding twists… and that’s ok! Because the family dynamic, the level of heartbreak, the exploration of hard choices, and the overall emotional feel of the story is what makes this book. The mystery part is just extra icing on the cake.
Towards the ending this story morphed into an emotional roller coaster for me. There is a part where the fine details that the author includes literally had me feeling like I was in the room with them. I often come away from a book feeling euphoric when I really love the book. This book touched on something that I can’t even put into the words. I felt emotionally overwhelmed for several hours after finishing. I felt a sense of personal loss, which I never feel like this when reading a book. I had to keep reminding myself that it is a BOOK and it is a work of fiction. I think this speaks volumes as to the immense talent this author has that she managed to get me so emotionally worked up. I obviously can’t express how much I loved this book and I highly recommend it to everyone. This book is going to stay in my thoughts for a long time to come. For Kim’s full review
This book is told through both Abi and Olivia’s point of view. Abi after being told about her daughter’s fall and Olivia’s told from months leading up to and the day of the fall. The reader gets to learn more about each of these women, their thoughts and emotions. Family dynamics, mother-daughter relationships, dating, falling in love, friendship, truth, the search for one’s identity, etc. it’s all here in this book.
I found this book to be absorbing and felt for both Abi and Olivia. This book will pull on your heartstrings and had me reaching for my tissues. Watching Abi grieve and fight to learn what happened to her daughter, I couldn’t help but wonder what if? Unimaginable. The reactions and emotions in this book felt believable and raw.
The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald has the most heartbreaking and heartfelt ending I’ve read in along time.
It’s a book where you need time to sit and finish in one day, the chapters are short and easy whilst spilt between the two main characters.One telling the story from the present and the other telling the story on the run up to devastating conclusion.
It’s fast, it’s easy, it also keeps you guessing and plotting what you think is going to happen to then twist and make you realise you never really knew at all and it just breaks your heart (and yes I cried that doesn’t happen very often when reading a book only on rare occasions😢) I really highly recommend this book,
The ending to this story is going to stay with me for a long time.
Thank you so much to Christina McDonald for joining in our discussion and for sending me a finished copy of your book. I will be hugging it for awhile!
Have you read this one? Are you running to the store or your computer to buy this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!