I did it! I read the book in time! Better than in time, in fact, early. Which just shows how good this book was if I couldn’t put it down. As I sit here, writing ‘The Mothers’ Book review, the weather outside is very appropriate. It’s gloomy and drizzly, just what you’d expect for an English October and mirrors the environment of the novel quite nicely.
This is the third instalment of The Ramblings Book Club. If this is your first Book Club post, Welcome! Feel free to read The Ramblings Book Club post to learn more about the club and how to join. To put it basically, every first Sunday of the month I upload a blog post reviewing the previous month’s book. Thus, giving the opportunity for people to discuss the book either here, in the comments or on Social Media. Following the review, I announce the next month’s book. It’s free to join the club, just grab a copy of the book and meet back here on the first Sunday of the month!
If you want the inside scoop of the upcoming month’s book, sign up to my weekly Newsletter. It’s completely free!
Create Your Own Calm Book
Before I get to ‘The Mothers’ Book Review, I just wanted to talk about this amazing book that was sent to me. ‘Create your own Calm’ by Becky Goddard-Hill. Beautifully illustrated by Clare Forrest. It’s a beautiful, insightful and clever book for children aged 6+ years (or anyone really) to create some calm in their lives. It goes into depth explaining and exploring thoughts and feelings that we all have and how to handle them.
Each feeling/emotion has an inspiring quote, scientific explanation to help you understand it and an activity to explore it. It’s full of fun, mindful activities and is a must-have survival guide to ourselves. this would be perfect for families to do together or for 1:1 time between a parent and child. Highly recommended. Good job Becky!
Get your copy here:
Back to ‘The Mothers’ Book Review.
September’s book was ‘the mothers’ by Sarah J Naughton. Here’s a quick recap:
5 women. 5 secrets. 1 missing husband. They meet at their NCT Group. The only thing they have in common is they're all pregnant. Three years later, they are all good friends. Aren't they? Now the police have come knocking. Someone knows something. THE TROUBLE WITH SECRETS IS THAT SOMEONE ALWAYS TELLS...
‘The Mothers’ Book Review
This month’s book was ‘The Mothers’ by Sarah J Naughton. A plot twisting mystery that has you changing your predictions at every chapter. It has everything from infidelity, secret bank accounts, police department drama and murder. This book really shows you, you never know what someone is going through. That stay-at-home Mum that’s super bubbly, the divorce lawyer who’s never been strapped for cash or even the hippy on a house boat who collects crystals. No one’s life is perfect.
What I liked…
The main thing I liked about this novel was that you were delivered the story from multiple points of view. Sort of like you were interviewing the women yourself and each one handed you a puzzle piece for you to make your own picture of what really happened. Naughton also provides huge plot twists by showing aspects of their life that police don’t, altering your perceptions with every page turn. Each changing chapter is like a short, new story that adds to the mystery. You get to know the characters individually and together, changing your first impressions of each woman. If that doesn’t teach you to not be so quick to judge, I don’t know what will!
My favourite scene from the book would have to be page 180-183. Bella, the doormat, stay-at-home mother, married to an ungrateful, abusive husband, finally gets her inner fire back. In the last straw between her and her husband’s attitude, she calmly but strongly confronts upon the realisation that she was a wife, yes, a mother, yes but also a woman.
The following events, I have mixed feelings about. Hallucinating and seeing a tiger? As your spirit animal? I appreciate the symbolism and love that it stood by her and gave her the courage to undo the lock of her husband’s study to find out he was gambling their house away. But if I, as a mother to a young child, was having delusions that strong? It would send me into panic. I would ship my child off to a grandparent while I sorted the rest of my life out. However, if she hadn’t had mustered up the courage to undo the door and find out he was gambling, she would never have had him tell her he was going to run off with his secret bank account and admit he didn’t care about her or their child. That would confirm to me that he had to go.
What I didn’t like…
Apart from the tiger scene, there wasn’t much I didn’t like about this book. It was juicy, dramatic and there were plenty of plot twists which I loved. I guess the main thing I didn’t like about the book was Ewan. What a dick, right? Men like him make my blood boil and I felt irritation for Bella sticking with him.
The only other time I didn’t like a character was at the end. Jen. She’s seriously pregnant with his baby?! I cannot fathom how devastating it must have been for her to lose her baby and I can understand why she would want to try again with a different cocktail of genes. But EWAN?! Do you really want those genes? Plus, won’t people realise as her baby gets older that he kind of looks like him? She was the babysitter, it’s so cliché for her to sleep with the husband that people expect it! So when her baby starts to look more like Ewan and not Eliot, won’t people figure it out? That poor kid. If he finds out that he wasn’t created out of love or that his Dad isn’t his Dad and his biological father is dead… due to his Mum murdering him?!
He’s going to need so much therapy.
To sum up…
I have given this book 5 stars because I loved how unpredictable, juicy, dramatic and mysterious it was. I love a murder mystery and I also like to think of myself as a good detective, should I have to be. But this book proved that that is not true. I had so many theories and ideas of how this story would end and Naughton’s was better than all of mine. She is an excellent writer and it was just one of those stories that you finish and you think “How do they come up with that?”. What an imagination (I hope). There was no waffle or filler that didn’t need to be there. Just 274 pages of excellence!
This month’s book is a beloved classic. I have seen the movie hundreds of times from my early childhood and still vow to watch it year after year. Since it is the spooky season, I thought it was high time for me to read the book of one of my favourite films. ‘Practical Magic’ by Alice Hoffman. Is there a more perfect book for October?
About the Book…
As children, sisters Gillian and Sally were forever outsiders in their small New England town, teased, taunted and shunned for the air of magic that seems to sparkle in the air around them. All Gillian and Sally ever wanted was to get away.
And eventually they do – one marries, the other runs as far from home as she can manage.
Years later, however, tragedy will bring the sisters back together. And they’ll find that no matter what else may happen, they’ll always have each other. An enchanting tale of love, forgiveness and family, Practical Magic is beloved of readers of all ages.
About the Author…
Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and ’74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston.
Hoffman’s first novel, Property Of, was written at the age of twenty-one, while she was studying at Stanford, and published shortly thereafter by Farrar Straus and Giroux.
I’m so excited to read this one! Let me know what you thought of my ‘The Mothers’ Book Review in the comment below! Please also join the Book Club. It’s FREE and a great way to motivate you to read more.
If you have any suggestions or requests for future books in the Book Club, please let me know and you never know, it might be the next book in The Ramblings Book Club!