Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Review for Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas

Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release: 16th January 2014
Genre: Adult Fiction, Psychological Thriller
Source: Bought

"Meet the Hurst Family.

Meet Violet Hurst -16 years old, beautiful and brilliant. So why is she being accused of being a danger to herself and others? 

Meet her brother Will Hurst – the smartest and sweetest twelve-year old boy around. But does he really need all that medication he is being told to take?

Meet oldest sister Rose – the one who got away. She disappeared one night in her final year of school, never to be heard from again.

And then meet their mother – Josephine. Perhaps it will then all start to make sense."

Psychological Thrillers are an old love of mine but unfortunately I don’t read them as often as I used to. However, when I read the synopsis for Mother, Mother it sounded just like the dark and menacing read I was after and so after reading some glowing reviews for the book I decided to give it a try. Mother, Mother is the kind of book that crawls under your skin without you realizing it. It’s not the kind of thriller that’s fast paced and full of twists but rather one that makes you feel uneasy and suspicious of every character. It’s so compelling that it practically turns the pages itself as you dive deeper into the world of this deeply dysfunctional family and their twisted relationships.

The book is told from two of the Hurst children’s point of views with oldest daughter Rose having recently run away from home and escaping their mothers clutches. Will is a twelve-year-old autistic boy who has withdrawn so much from the world that his mother and her approval is all that really matters to him. Then there’s Will’s older sister Violet the middle child in the family who’s recently been sectioned in a mental health unit due to a crime against her brother that she has no recollection of committing.

Will and Violet are both such unreliable narrators that you’re never quite sure what to believe especially when the different accounts on their home life begin to clash. Trying to piece together exactly what’s going on in that household made captivating reading.

All members of the Hurst family are broken, flawed and interesting characters to read about. None more so than mother Josephine who really is the puppeteer behind their family and the perfect façade they show the world. I won’t say too much about Josephine other than she’s an incredibly clever individual who kept me guessing throughout the book. Is she the loving and attentive mother that Will adores? Or the deranged psychopath who is ruining Violet’s life?

The only thing that let this book down for me was the ending. I would have liked something a little more surprising and sinister to have taken this book to new heights.

Overall Mother, Mother was a chilling and thought provoking read that proves that you never really know what’s going on behind closed doors.

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