Friday, 8 April 2016

Review - The Good Mother by A L Bird

I am absolutely delighted to have been offered the chance to participate in the blog tour for The Good Mother by A. L. Bird. Having never read anything written by the author before, I approached this book not knowing what to expect in the slightest. In fact, I knew very little except for the fact that it was a psychological thriller with an awesome synopsis that had me completely hooked and left me desperate to get started. 

In The Good Mother we meet Susan who wakes up in a room she doesn’t recognise with absolutely no idea how she has got there. With the door to the room locked and the realisation setting in that she is completely alone in the room except for when her captor comes in with food and drink, her thoughts soon turn towards her daughter - where is she and is she OK? Before too long Susan starts to hear her daughter’s voice in the room next door to her and, knowing this fact leaves her feeling strong and nothing but determined to get them both out of there to freedom. But all is not as it seems, what happens when the truth eventually emerges? Will she believe it? Does she even want to believe it? What will the repurcussions be? 

This novel is told from the perspective of several different characters - mainly Susan’s but also that of her daughter’s friend and their captor’s - with incredible success. This way of telling what was quite frankly an incredible and astounding novel, with a storyline that was quite unlike anything I’ve ever read before, left me feeling a range of different emotions. I felt sorry for Susan and desperate for her to be successful and make her great escape and nothing but hatred for her captor. That was of course until the twist came and I came to understand the reasons for the captor doing what he was doing although I do think there was a better way of handling the whole situation. 

The Good Mother was an immensely clever novel which was told from an author who is clearly very accomplished and knows how to write a gripping psychological thriller to leave readers jumping to conclusions and constantly on their toes. The tension was expertly built up throughout this novel from beginning to end. This is something that I thought the short sentences greatly added to - they built up a sense of panic that kept me frantically turning the pages and flying through it. When the twist eventually came and I found out the truth of exactly what was going on - I was shocked as it was not something that I expected and certainly not something that I could ever have predicted. 

There were a few occasions whilst reading this novel that I felt myself wincing at what was going on and feeling uncomfortable but overall I felt that it was an extremely strong and powerful novel. A number of themes were drawn into this book that left me asking many questions and really got me thinking about what I would do and how I would react to the situations the characters found themselves in. It was a really great introduction to the author’s writing and I have absolutely no doubt that I will be back to read more written by her in the future.