Review: Mother, Mother – Koren Zailckas

Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas

Title: Mother, Mother
Author: Koren Zailckas
Publication date: 16 January 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780007547388
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Psychological thriller
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon UK | The Book Depository

In a nutshell

All is not well with the Hurst family.

There is gentle teenage daughter Violet, whose experiments with fasting and drugs land her in a psychiatric ward; eight-year-old Will who is smart, funny and caring but has already been labelled autistic and is being home-schooled; and mother Josephine, whose subtly controlling and seemingly innocent manoeuvres may just be the source of everyone else’s despair.

And then there’s Rose, the sister who got away. Tired of Josephine’s interferences, Rose ran away from home years earlier and hasn’t been heard from since. But as her mother’s intentions become more terrifyingly clear, Violet begins to wonder whether something far, far worse happened to her older sister…

My thoughts

Mother, Mother is typically one of those books which left such a great impression on me that I have no idea where to even begin. I’ve always been a big fan of psychological thrillers and suspense – both in terms of films and books – so even though I went into this book not knowing what to expect, I was secretly hoping it would render me speechless. And render me speechless it did. I finished reading it in late December and, without exaggeration, it’s been on my mind ever since.

There’s something very disturbing about the story, something which makes it impossible for you to put it down. You get a sense that there’s something very, very wrong with Josephine. You don’t know what she’s capable of, why she’s acting the way she does and this sense of unease, uncertainty is one of the reasons why it’s such a compelling story and why it has such an impact. Zailckas manages to keep you in constant suspense and make you feel a deep sense of unease until the very end. You keep wondering how far it could go, how far Josephine (who really is the master of manipulation) could take things before the unthinkable happens and whether anyone realises how powerful she is before it’s too late.

I loved every single detail from the brilliant writing to the intriguing storyline, the beautiful ending and the characters. All of them are so well-rounded and so frighteningly real that it makes the story even more daunting. I don’t think I can do this book justice but I really hope you’ll give it a try. Mother, Mother is a truly unforgettable story and probably one of the most suspenseful, chilling novels I’ve read lately. I absolutely loved it and I can’t recommend it enough.

5 star rating
*Many thanks to HarperCollins for sending me a copy for review*

13 Responses to “Review: Mother, Mother – Koren Zailckas”

  1. Leanna says:

    Great to see you loved this one! I have it coming up soon on my TBR and was just reading the description the other day. It sounds like my kind of book, although I have a feeling it may be a pretty unsettling read.
    Leanna recently posted..Guest Post: Melissa Bailey on Catherine de Medici & Inspiration for The Medici Mirror.My Profile

  2. This cover and title totally jumped out at me on my blog feeder. I’m going to track it down on Goodreads!
    Kate- Midnightbookgirl recently posted..Short and Tweet Review of Through the Ever NightMy Profile

  3. Oh my gosh, this story definitely left me reeling. I had no idea what kind of things Josephine could actually do. The story was so chilling it left me creeped out. I also loved the characters, everything about this book was so well written, I’m glad to hear you loved it!
    Andrea (Cozy Up With A Good Read) recently posted..Review: The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody EpsteinMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Me neither – and the fact that Will was so devoted to her and (obviously) had no idea what she was capable of made it even more terrifying! And yes, me too! None of them were shallow, they were all well-rounded characters. Such a fantastic book!

  4. Antara says:

    Ooh this looks so fabulously creepy!
    I’ll read this as soon as I can; unsettling, disturbing reads are even better in winter (or maybe that’s just me)
    Antara recently posted..Review: 2:20 by Holly HookMy Profile

  5. This one is still haunting me, months after finishing my read. Yes…very disturbing and captivating. And so memorable! I gave it five stars, too.

  6. I’ve seen this one around the blogosphere and haven’t been sure whether to pick it up but your review has convinced me! I’m in the mood for a good thriller and this is going straight on to my wishlist!
    Jess Hearts Books recently posted..Letterbox Love (35) First Book Haul of the Year!My Profile

  7. Bex Smith says:

    This sounds like my kind of book – Putting it on my wishlist right now!
    Bex Smith recently posted..Top 5 Books I Want In 2014My Profile

  8. Erin says:

    I haven’t heard of this before – it sounds very interesting and is clear you love it. Will definitely have to check out soon.
    Erin recently posted..Inside and Out Book TagMy Profile

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