Bad mother or bad decision?
I’d been looking forward to reading the Bad Mother as I’d found Isabelle Grey’s debut novel, Out of Sight really enjoyable, but unfortunately, although interesting in places, this book didn’t quite deliver.
Tessa owns and runs a B&B which she inherited from her maternal Grandmother Averil along with a dolls house that has always been kept for show. Tessa is already going through a hard time following the gradual separation from her husband Sam whilst coping with two teenage children, Mitch and Lauren, when a family secret is revealed that causes Tessa to question who she is.
The story is intriguing and it raises a number of good points about how we define who we are but far too many of these simply do not come to a satisfactory conclusion. I also had problems with the characterisation in this book; Mitch the seventeen year old son simply did not strike me as a credible character, him describing what he was doing and why meant that I always felt one step removed from his thoughts along with being convinced that’s not how boys of that age think! The main theme of this book is mothering; with distracted, addicted and absent mothers featuring the key to the whole story is Averil’s mothering. As a reader, and a mother, I was left pondering can one decision make you a bad mother?
I left the book wondering what comes next as there were a number of loose ends, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as that is what life is like sometimes.
Read my review of Out of Sight from Goodreads below:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Isabelle Grey’s first book drew me in from the first page, and even better, continued to do so until the last page. The story starts in 2005 with Patrick’s parents visiting him, his wife and son. Patrick’s mother is an anxious woman and the description of her behaviour hits the mark exactly, the tensions that spread to those in her orbit were so accurately described it was painful to read.
In 2011 a woman in France meets Patrice and falls completely in love with him. Again the emotions of all involved are completely believable so that I really felt I got to know the characters. The pace of this book is perfect.
Fantastic writing with the right amount of intrigue I’m looking forward to Isabelle Grey’s next novel The Bad Mother.