Monday, October 7, 2013

Mother,Mother ~ A Novel by Koren Zailckas

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (September 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385347235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385347235

This book is also available as an e-book.

In MOTHER, MOTHER we meet the Hursts: William, a twelve-year-old autistic boy, who wants nothing more than to please his parents but can’t seem to figure out how; Violet, a rebellious teenager whose experiments with hallucinogenic drugs have just landed her in a mental ward; Douglas, their father who spends too much time at the office and the remaining hours with a bottle of scotch; and Josephine, whose subtle manipulations are slowly but steadily driving her family to the brink of disaster. And key to uncovering Josephine’s motives is Rose, the daughter who got away, but whose presence is still keenly felt, and whose fate is mysteriously unknown.
While authors get their inspiration from many places, Koren didn’t need to look further than her own childhood when she decided to tackle the topic of a dysfunctional family. Growing up, several members of her family showed traits and characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, including her own mother. She decided to write MOTHER, MOTHER in part to challenge the assumption that all mothers are compassionate and kind. Deeply personal, Koren’s first foray into fiction showcases her brilliant, firecracker prose, a page-turning plot, and an unmistakable voice.
Full of wise and witty observations, and a mounting sense of dread, MOTHER, MOTHER is an astonishing debut.

My take on this book:
To say the Hurst family is dysfunctional would be a major understatement! The biggest player in that dysfunction is Josephine Hurst the mother, who is a major wack job.She comes off as a loving mother, but behind closed doors she is something else entirely. It's hard to continue to portray a perfect family though when her oldest daughter Rose runs away. Added to that is her middle daughter Violet winds up in a mental ward, and her son Will has just been diagnosed with Aspergers, and has allowed his mother to turn him against his sisters. To top it off the father on the scene drinks  so that he won't have to deal with what's going on. It seems that Rose's running away starts a chain event that causes the family to unravel! 
A real page turner from the beginning chapters. I really enjoyed the way the story was presented, with short chapters told from the alternating viewpoints of Violet, a strong willed sixteen year old who we first meet in the psych ward, after she is accused of attacking her twelve year old brother Will. While Violet sees their mother for what she truly is. Deep down Will has to know what she is as well, but refuses to see her as anything but a loving mother.This is an awesome example of how a family can look totally normal on the outside but behind closed doors it's totally the opposite! Josephine was a master manipulator able to weave whatever truth she wanted. I couldn't help but wonder what happened to Rose, but the twists were more than even I could have imagined. A train wreck of emotionally charged psychological drama with several twists that I certainly didn't anticipate. A fast paced read that deals with the heavy topic of abuse with realistic characters whose stories I have continued to think about!

About Koren Zailckas

photo credit Eamon HamiltonYou may recall Koren from her memoir Smashed, which took the world by storm when it was published in 2005. The riveting, absorbing story of her teenage alcoholism was a tour-de-force, has sold over a half million copies, and has become a touchstone of the memoir genre. In their review of SmashedEntertainment Weekly raved “This fine young writer’s greatest gift is her gripping, vivid storytelling.” Now, Zailckas turns her considerable talent to fiction writing, with a darkly suspenseful debut novel that is taut, compelling, and ultimately terrifying.

Koren Zailckas’ TLC Book 


Monday, September 16th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, September 17th:  Books a la Mode
Wednesday, September 18th:  River City Reading
Wednesday, September 18th:  Books a la Mode - guest post/giveaway
Thursday, September 19th:  Between the Covers
Monday, September 23rd:  Mental Foodie
Wednesday, September 25th:  Fiction Addict
Thursday, September 26th:  The Best Books Ever
Monday, September 30th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, October 1st:  From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, October 2nd:  Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, October 3rd:   Luxury Reading
Friday, October 4th:  Sweet Southern Home
Monday, October 7th:  A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, October 8th:  WV Stitcher
Wednesday, October 9th:  5 Minutes for Books
Thursday, October 10th:  Overflowing Bookshelves
Monday, October 14th:  50 Books Project 

1 comment:

  1. Dysfunctional just doesn't seem to really cover what this family has going on!

    Thanks for being on the tour.


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