Book review: A Good Enough Mother

By Bev Thomas
Published by Faber & Faber

Synopsis: Dr Ruth Hartland rises to difficult tasks. She is the director of a highly respected trauma therapy unit. She is confident, capable and excellent at her job. Today she is preoccupied by her son Tom's disappearance.

So when a new patient arrives at the unit - a young man who looks shockingly like Tom - she is floored.

As a therapist, Ruth knows exactly what she should do in the best interests of her client, but as a mother she makes a very different choice - a decision that will have profound consequences.

How did this book end up in my hands? I read the serialisation of this book via The Pigeonhole.

Was it a page-turner? Absolutely, yes. The tension and foreboding were so high right from the beginning that I almost held my breath throughout the book.

Did the book meet my expectations? I didn’t connect with the title at first and I started reading with no expectations. For this reason, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The character building, the snippets of information gathered between the lines, the guessing… it all added up to a brilliant reading experience.

Three words to describe it. Bleak. Gripping. Insightful.

Do I like the cover? I do. At first I wasn’t sure how relevant it was but now I like the fact that you can interpret it based on your understanding on the novel. For me, the overflowing bath represents the destructive consequences of the sum of a string of small actions that, individually, seem insignificant.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, this is a stunning debut novel. I certainly look forward to reading the author’s future work.


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