Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete. But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger. Something was very wrong in Olivia and David’s marriage. Can Olivia and Ivy break their silence and speak the truth? A mother should protect her child, whatever the cost…shouldn’t she?
To be honest, I wouldn’t have picked up this book if I hadn’t read all your stellar reviews. The cover did nothing for me and the title felt kind of sappy, so I thought this would be some kind of cheesy story… I know, I know, I was so wrong. This was a sad, poignant and beautiful novel and it’s one I’d recommend to almost anyone. It was so good that it made me reflect on how important it is to raise a kid properly (and I don’t even have kids!).
Even though this wasn’t a mystery at all, it read like my favorite kind of book. It featured a past story and a present one and both were so compelling and addictive I had a really hard time putting the book down. I was so intrigued by what had happened and I got so emotionally invested… You’ll see by reading this review that I’m really passionate about the book. And I wouldn’t be able to choose between the two storylines. The present storyline features Olivia, a young woman whose abusive husband has just died. We keep learning the details of his death as the book advances, but I absolutely enjoyed reading her story and felt so sorry for what she had endured. I especially loved how she progressively became much more independent and was able to come to terms with what had happened.
Remember when I read Behind Closed Doors and got so frustratingly angry with Jack? Now I have another character to hate with all my soul. Ivy. I know, if you’ve read the blurb you’re probably thinking that the husband has to be the bad guy in this story. And he is, he was disgusting, and I wanted him to suffer; but Ivy was the one that got me on my nerves (probably because she was more of a main character). I hadn’t been so furious at a fictional character in months. And I couldn’t stop reading, so that was definitely thanks to Kelly Rimmer’s wonderful writing.
The ending… well, I cried, I’m not gonna deny it. It was so damn sad, you can’t possibly imagine. I don’t remember reading anything this tragic that didn’t feel manipulative or overly dramatic, ever. It’s been a few days and I’m still thinking about this book. So please, even if by looking at the cover or the title it doesn’t seem like your kind of novel, I promise you that this is a truly powerful story.
I wanted to add that I had a great time sharing my reading process with Diana (@ A Haven For Book Lovers, check out her awesome blog!). I had read her review and she got me interested because she said there was a twist and everyone was raving about it. When I reached 20% I got really frustrated and I asked her if the twist was something that had been bothering me all day. Her response was a firm: “Nooooo, how could you even think that?” And I was like: “Okay, this time you’ve gone too far, Annie“. Imagine my surprise when I got to the end and I realized she had lied to me because I had actually guessed it. She did the right thing, though, I didn’t really want to know! Also, we discovered something curious about this book and we couldn’t believe how clueless we had been…
What I liked the most
I think A Mother’s Confession‘s theme is fresh and incredibly relevant. Because let’s be honest, I’ve read tons of books this year about domestic abuse (and I loved them all), but this one was completely different because it offered a new perspective: the abuser’s mother. Because, why do men become abusers? We’ve seen them being cruel to their partners, but do we know where this hatred towards women comes from? And I’m not talking about mothers being cruel to their kids, but quite the opposite, actually. This book is about a mother becoming so obsessed with her son that she can’t accept that he might not be perfect at all. She’s jealous, manipulative and completely blind to anything cruel he does. I had never read such a story and I found it fascinating (and horrible at the same time).
What I didn’t like that much
Initially, I was going to give this four stars but then I realized I had only a small complaint, and it was that the “vet” storyline was, to me, the weakest part of the book. It’s not that I didn’t want Olivia to be happy, but I thought the book would’ve worked without it anyway. Without saying too much, I just don’t think David even needed that push in order for everything to blow up.
A Mother’s Confession is a powerful book that sheds light on a very important matter. It’s also emotional, sad and completely worth your time.
Bookouture, 2016 – Netgalley