I have to admit I picked up this book because I loved the
cover. I was browsing the library shelves, and it caught my eye. It
is never a great idea to pick a book based on its cover, so many
disappointments when the cover is its best feature!
The Mother isn’t that book. Engaging writing captivated me on page one. The overarching narrative of the mothers, the women who
gather to pray at the church, and the study of mothers, those who are no longer mothers or those who long to be mothers or mothers who are no longer alive or
mothers who fail us.
Bennett tugs on the heartstrings through her writing and haunts the reader with her incredible insights.
Like Little Fires Everywhere, the ending is clear at the start of the book. But the complicated layers of what happened gets unfolded throughout the pages. Her characters are well rounded and in one moment I want to throttle them and the next I want to comfort them.
Structuring the story in a church community could lean on a trope or stereotype but Bennett writes in a fresh way. The women were strong, the men a little weak, and I appreciated the gender roles being flipped.
The role of race is present in the story, but isn’t the main thrust. Race impacts each of the characters in different ways by narrowing choices but isn’t the force causing change.
Bennett wrote back-story in a way that kept me engaged in the story even if the characters were using past events to inform the present. Every flashback had a purpose
that informed the present moment.
With fresh writing, flawed and intriguing characters, and a setting I could see in my head I can’t wait to read more from this debut author.
What book about mothers and daughters do you recommend? Post in the comments.
Books like The Mother:
(I am not paid to review or suggest books. The opinions are all mine. I am an Amazon Affiliate, which means if you click on a picture it takes you to Amazon where if you make a purchase I receive a portion of the sale.)
The Survivor’s Guide to Family Happiness by Maddie Dawson. A woman searches for her birth mother and isn’t sure about the answers she finds.
The Nest. Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. All families are dysfunctional in their own way, right? This family is no exception but money makes it more dysfunctional than most.
The Choices We Make by Karma Brown. When a friendship between women becomes complicated as they fight about what it means to be a mother. Have tissues handy and read with a friend!