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Mother, Mother: A Mad Review

Updated on January 23, 2014
5 stars for Mother, Mother by Koren Zalickas

As far as mothers go, I have a very loving one. She might be slightly controlling, a little opinionated, and a tad bit old-school but she has taught me most of what I know. She insisted on meeting every single guy I spoke to until I was 21 and I wasn't allowed out past eleven p.m. until I was 20 years old, and to be completely honest, I still get a bit nervous about coming home too late. Although she still calls me when I'm out with my boyfriend "just to say hello," and threatens to report me missing if I don't answer, I know these quirks come from a caring place in her heart. Although I complain, I'm secretly thankful. Who wouldn't want a mother who cares about them? A mother who wants to protect them from all the bad in the world, or at least try to. Our mother-daughter relationship is what inspired me to pick up Koren Zailckas's Mother, Mother on my most recent trip to the library and although it's far from what my mother is capable of doing (at least I hope), I enjoyed this mystery until the very end. | Source

The Hurst family has everything they could ever want. Josephine, a former art educator, and Douglas, a tech genius, have two stunning daughters, one brilliant son, a beautiful historic landmark home and an outstanding presence in their community. In order to get by, all they must do is keep up their facade. With a mother who is sweet and kind for the sake of appearances but overbearing behind closed doors, the family slowly begins to doubt the intentions of the dominating force that keeps them together. With the disappearance of eldest daughter Rose, the rest of the Hurst clan start to turn against one another as Josephine tightens her grip on her seemingly perfect family.

Unlike her younger brother and older sister, Violet considers herself a rebel, turning to drugs, eastern philosophy and open-minded friends in her time of need. Also unlike her siblings, Violet has noticed her mother's odd behavior and refuses to allow Josephine's intensely stubborn attitude to dictate her life. With an alcoholic father and a brother who cherishes their mother on the verge of worship, Violet must find out what really happened to her sister and save her family from her unhinged mother before it's too late.

This novel was very intense with Zailckas switching between the present and the past while using the voices of Violet and her younger brother William to tell the story. Instead of being confusing and overwhelming, the Hurst's story transitioned nicely and made for a great suspenseful read. I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would and I'm very glad I ventured outside of my literary box once again. Even though Josephine didn't remind me of any mother I know, I found myself identifying with Violet and rooting for her the entire way. I could almost feel the tension radiating from the pages and I counted my lucky stars that I got through my teenage years unscathed. Not only did this story make me cringe, it made me want to hug my mom and even consider buying her flowers. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves mystery, in-depth detail, irony, and of course, sarcasm. Oh, the sarcasm!

Did you read this novel? Would you want to? Let's talk about it!


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