|Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas|
I'll jump right in with this one and say that I found it both haunting and compelling. I received it in my parcel for the #bloggerbookswap I organised a while ago now and have only just picked it out of the To Read pile.
Mother, Mother throws us into the lives of the Hurst family. Mother, Josephine Hurst, loves her three children more than anything, right? Well, we'll come back to that.
- 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.
So, add to these three an alcoholic father and a mother who is perhaps the most narcissistic creature I've ever encountered in a book, and you have the Hurst family. Josephine doesn't seem to love anything but herself and the way in which she takes up every opportunity to exploit her family using their weaknesses is sort of sickening.
I couldn't stop reading this book once I'd started it, but I don't think that was down to the writing, or an affinity with any of the characters as quite frankly, I disliked them all intently. There was just something about it, like watching a terrible horror film, which meant that I was hooked and couldn't back away from it.
OK, so there are some twists, some (probably most) of which are predictable. I certainly knew where the book was going before the Hursts figured it out. And after The Twist, I felt a little disappointed. Had it been me writing, I'd have quite there, whilst I was ahead, rather than try to tie every little loose end up. I felt that the last couple of chapters weakened the ending.
I was also slightly disappointed that the author didn't go that little bit further with Josephine's character. I felt like it could have been pushed that little bit more, kept expecting something truly shocking, but she never quite made it to the level I would have believed she was capable of.