I picked this book up purely on the recommendation of a couple of other book bloggers who (strongly) hinted at a heart-breaking book; it is but not in the sense that phrase is usually referring to, this is no romantic light fluffy story, it is something far darker. This was a book that in turn chilled me to the bone, whilst the brilliant device of a mother telling the tale of her little boy’s birth onwards whilst his wife looks back on the life she shared with him as a man, had me absolutely hooked.
We know straight off that there has been a tragedy. David is dead, his wife Olivia is struggling with her grief, her daughter Zoe the only daily contact she has with the world outside her front door. She is too paralysed to talk to her former colleague who delivers a daily monologue through the front door to her, although she keeps her appointments with her grief-counsellor, the contents of these are delivered to the reader with a force that at times took my breath away.
David and Olivia were one of life’s fortunate couples, they were well-off, professionals living in a beautiful house, close by to his mother which was handy for babysitting, but the tragedy of David’s death has blown apart the careful construction of the perfect couple, the secrets can no longer be contained.
Ivy is mourning the loss of her son by remembering key episodes of his life from his birth through to the present day. Ivy is a mother who pushed her child to the fore, a woman who lived her life through her son’s achievements and as a result is lost, and perhaps unable to face up to what has happened.
Set in Australia the small town setting is an inspired device to allow us to experience the different viewpoints of the locals, particularly as David’s father owns the local grocery store. Olivia, and perhaps Ivy, have their versions of David challenged by those who only know part of their tale. We the readers are the fortunate ones because through both women we get to see the truth.
The depth of characterisation and in particular the development of Olivia’s as she moves from the first numbing days of grief to one where she begins to contemplate returning to work was superb. There was not one single moment when I disbelieved her actions, her words or thoughts. I was willing her along her difficult journey to an ending which simply had me stunned.
Ivy is a different sort of mother, one who holds some outdated and therefore seemingly outlandish views, a difficult woman to like especially when her actions have caused Olivia so much pain, but, controversially she has her reasons and so I still had a smidgen of sympathy for this blinkered woman, not a lot, but I felt that as the author has given us a little of her background, it would almost be rude to dismiss her as a total witch.
This book had me completely riveted, I did not want to part with it as I needed to know what was going to happen. The author pulled me in from the off, and each bit of information added to the rising feeling of dread in this book where it was obvious something terrible was going to be revealed, but quite what wasn’t apparent until it was upon me.
If you like books that let you run the gamut of emotions, a book that is pitched at just the right pace so that you are not fighting against the feeling that the author is withholding information as a ploy to fill the book, don’t dismiss this book. The cover doesn’t do justice to the power of the words inside A Mother’s Confession.
I received my copy of A Mother’s Confession from the publishers Bookouture. This unbiased review is my thanks to them and the talented author Kelly Rimmer, another author whose back catalogue I will now be exploring.
First Published UK: 27 October 2016
No of Pages: 352
Genre: Psychological Thriller – domestic
20 thoughts on “A Mother’s Confession – Kelly Rimmer”
It was brilliant wasn’t it. It was my only nine crime based book of the year because of that ending. I’d suggest Me Without You as it really moved me and the characters are very likeable. I’ve been told The Secret Daughter is a good one too.
I have seen only but good reviews about this book too. Did you read this in paperback or kindle?
On the kindle via NG 😊
I do hear a lot of good things about this one, Cleo. And it sounds like a deeply involving story. I think that’s a very ingenious idea, too, to have the story told from those two different perspectives. I’m sure that gives more depth to David’s character. Glad you enjoyed this.
I love the idea behind this book but I admit the cover alone would have made me turn away and not give it a shot. I am glad you enjoyed it as much as the others, it confirms that I really need to get my copy!
You’re review is making me consider this book. I have to admit I haven’t given it a second look based on the title and the cover which is really bad in my opinion. I like that you said it’s a book for people who don’t want to feel like the author is withholding information as a ploy. That is exactly my problem with most of the psychological thrillers I’ve read lately. Great review !
I was the same and it was only because a book blogger I trusted recommended it that made me pick this one – I get annoyed when the reveal is obviously drawn out by some device or another, this one didn’t feel like that at all to me. I’m not able to say too much more without potentially spoiling the plot but suffice to say it was not what I expected at all
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I’m going to definitely take a closer look at this. I also get annoyed when the author writes in a way where all the characters know the big ‘secret’ but me as the reader is left in the dark. It feels manipulative. I think that’s why I’ve been unhappy with most psychological thrillers I’ve read lately
It is on my list! I do enjoy experiencing a lot of emotions in books….and I love hating characters, too. Thanks for the great review. I can’t wait to get this one.
Phew! Safe! And only two days left in the year for you to tempt me…
This is definitely one for you 😏 Only one review left and I’m reserving my book pushing powers for 2017!!
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LOVED this book! It’s so good, I felt so much for Olivia it was crazy and I couldn’t believe the plot twist. Ivy though, she made me have to take breaks because I was getting so frustrated with her! lol. I’m so glad you loved this one, your review is fantastic :).
Woah, sounds like an intense one – but not in a bad way! I’m glad to hear that it kept you reading and needing to know what will happen next. I think I’d enjoy this one!
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It is utterly brilliant- I really can’t say too much else but…
Whoa. This sounds like the perfect fit for me. And I enjoy strong character’s, baggage and all. You have me so curious about that ending!
I’m so glad you loved this ❤ I had a feeling you would! I feel the same way, except for Ivy, who was imo the worst among the worst hahaha
Great book, one of my faves this year!
It was brilliant, and a book that would have easily passed me by without the superb reviews 😊
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