I went into Siobhan Adcock’s The Barter expecting a chilling ghost story with the mother in the present day trying desperately to protect her baby, but that’s not what this story is at all. Bridget’s primary storyline is pretty ho-hum—a woman who gave up her career to raise her baby feels the conversation of the other moms isn’t stimulating enough. The other storyline, which is set a century earlier, was of more interest as Rebecca finds it difficult to go from doctor’s daughter to farmer’s wife. It is from this storyline that the ghost Bridget sees seems to develop from, but Adcock never makes clear exactly why this is. (My assumption is that Bridget’s house, which is said to be new construction, was built on the same land.) The Barter could work if the focus was on the struggle of these two women to be mothers in their respective time periods, but the introduction of the ghost threw the story off.
Review copy provided by BookSparks PR.