Review: The Good Mother by Sinéad Moriarty

The Good Mother by Sinéad Moriarty

Title: The Good Mother
Author: Sinéad Moriarty
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK (2nd November 2017)
Source: The publisher

Kate has been through the fire with her three children . . .

Having been left devastated and homeless after her husband’s affair and the break-up of their family, somehow Kate has pulled through. Though times are still tough, she’s beginning to see the start of a new life.

But when twelve-year-old Jess is diagnosed with cancer, Kate’s resilience is put to the ultimate test. She has an eighteen-year-old son consumed with hatred of his father, a seven-year-old who is bewildered and acting up, and an ex-husband who won’t face his responsibilities. And in the middle of it a beloved child who is trying to be brave, but is getting sicker by the day.

Kate knows she must put to one side her own fear and heartbreak and do right by her children, particularly Jess. But maybe doing the right thing means doing the unthinkable?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

In THE GOOD MOTHER Sinéad Moriarty takes us on a rollercoaster of emotion. The story follows Kate, a mum of three children – 18, 12 and 7 – in Ireland. Her ex-husband Nick had an affair and left her and their children. The story start with Kate and her children moving out of their home as since Nick left they can no longer afford to live there. Kate sees it as the chance for a new beginning. When 12 year-old Jess is diagnosed with cancer everything changes, especially when she seems to be getting sicker by the day. Kate is determined to do the right thing by her family.

THE GOOD MOTHER is not a light, happy read. Moriarty poses a lot of hard questions that don’t, in my opinion, have a straight answer. This book is not for everyone; I think a lot of people could find it a challenging read because of the subject matter. That being said I found THE GOOD MOTHER a really compelling read. It just sucked me straight in to Kate’s world and I found myself rooting for her and her family. The story was really moving, and I enjoyed the fact that although Jess’s cancer is the centre of the story there are a lot of other things going on around the edges.

This is the third book from Moriarty that I’ve read (THIS CHILD OF MINE, THE SECRETS SISTERS KEEP) and all of them have dealt with hard subjects. If you are a fan of Sinéad Moriarty then I think you will very much enjoy this book. I also think fans of the contemporary genre will enjoy this book.

Writing this review is hard because on the one hand I don’t want to spoil THE GOOD MOTHER, but on the other I don’t want readers to be blindsided. If you read a lot of books in this genre, by which I mean books that deal with cancer, you can probably guess the general way this book is going to go. I certainly had a good idea. Moriarty surprised me. In a lot of ways this book is about hope and love. How they both change us, and how in a lot of ways they are both a double-edged sword.

I really liked the characters. Kate’s love for her family really came across, and that she did her best for them. I really enjoyed her relationships with her kids, her father, and her best friend. I did get a bit confused as to how old her children were – for a while I thought the younger two were older than they were, which confused me for a bit. The story is told mainly from Kate’s point of view, but Moriarty also includes glimpses into some of the other character’s lives. I enjoyed the occasional glimpses into Nick’s life. And I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know Piper, without the occasional chapter from her point of view I think she would have felt very flat. That being said, I thought THE GOOD MOTHER offered an interesting view into two families and was a really good read.

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