The Mother


The Mother is a terrific, informative, gripping and chilling novel which held me enthralled to the final page. I'd heard good things about this book and there was a long reserve list at the library, which is usually a good sign, but The Mother exceeded expectations.

It's a fantastic premise for a story. Miriam is a middle aged mother who is at first thrilled that her adult daughter has settled down at last with such an attentive partner. He's romantic, thoughtful, a loving father. And yet there are subtle hints that all is not well. Why install a security system that points at the front door? Why discourage Miriam from visiting to help with the babies? Gradually, to her horror, Miriam learns just how toxic Ally's marriage really is, and that's where the tension really ramps up.

I do seem to have been reading an awful lot of books about violence against women lately, but The Mother is a cracker. The dawning realisation that Miriam and Ally are totally helpless against Ally's husband is totally chilling and, unfortunately, absolutely realistic. Caro has obviously done her research, and while the police are sympathetic to Miriam and Ally, the legal system is stacked against them. Miriam ultimately decides to take drastic action, and she is not excused from the consequences of that decision.

Caro acknowledges Jess Hill's See What You Made Me Do both within the novel and in the author's notes, and I would bet that The Mother will reach an even wider audience than Hill's outstanding work. Let's hope it helps.

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