Wow! This was a great read and Koren Zalickas does a wonderful job weaving the story together and pulling you in.
The Hurst family appears to have it all together, mom Josephine is a former educator who is now devoting herself to home schooling her youngest child Will who suffers from seizures and has recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s. Her oldest daughter Rose ran away from home with a boyfriend that she did not approve of so from the outside looking in, it appears that her attempts to control Will and his sister Violet are possibly done out of fear of losing them. Their father Douglas is a wiz at work but more or less non-responsive and checked out at home and is possibly having an affair.
Since he is home schooled, Will spends his days and his nights with his mother and it almost seems as his role in the family is that of stand in husband for the absent Douglas. Will overhears his father whispering on the phone one night, confides to his mother that he fears his father is having an affair and then sets out to find out if this is true and if so, who the person is.
Violet hangs out with some of her friends one afternoon and tries some hallucinogenic seeds and has a bad reaction, that evening she is admitted to the psychiatric ward after allegedly attempting to stab her younger brother. While in the hospital she receives a letter from her sister Rose who has run away from home and they begin a cautious rebuilding of their relationship and Rose offers Violet a safe place away from their abusive mother.
While Violet is in the hospital, Josephine is visited by two Children’s service workers, one of whom is clearly more passionate about his job and is able to see through the elaborate display of smoke and mirrors Josephine has used to control not only her family for so many years, but also to control others outside the family to make decisions that will have long term, serious consequences. Really can’t say too much here without giving everything away!!
As the finely crafted web Josephine has skillfully put together begins to unravel you get a much clearer picture of what is actually happening in the Hurst family, and it is crazier and scarier than you imagined.
Koren Zalickas is a wonderfully creative writer with fantastic insight. This book was certainly dark and disturbing but it was also wonderfully written and poignant. She does a great job building her characters and you fully understand why they do what they do. It also gives you pause, how many families deal with these sorts of issues and we have no idea because they all wear their masks firmly in place so the rest of world only sees what they want them too. Really fascinating.
I highly recommend this book, you can get it here, happy reading!
I received a free copy of Mother, Mother from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.