The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall
Published by Simon & Schuster
Date: 2 September 2020
How do I even begin to unpack this book? A story that takes you to an unexpected place where you literally cannot put it down, or in my case couldn’t stop listening to it!
First, let me applaud the very talented Kate Mildenhall. Not only did Kate get me reading a book that was different from what I usually would, but she also took me down a road that was thrilling, yet terrifyingly raw. While I liked going on this journey, I constantly felt on edge, and the thrill of it left me wanting more. In some ways, I didn’t want the book to end, but I also did want to get to the ending because I was hoping for peace to quell the urgency I felt throughout the whole book, but I was reasonably sure this wouldn’t be the case.
The main character is Mim, whose husband Ben is missing. No-one knows where he is, but so many people want to find him. Mim lives in a time where The Department tracks the whole population with a universal tracking chip for their ‘safety,’ which couldn’t be further from the truth. As Mim and her two children tackle the journey to find Ben, they face a terrifying time ahead that sees Mim becoming a woman that not even she will recognise.
First, let me start with Mim. Once you meet her, you will want the drive and courage she has. You watch her grow from mum, daughter, wife, sister, lover… into someone just as remarkable but with bravery like you have never seen before. I was really moved by the strength she had for her children Essie and Sam, and how they also grew emotionally throughout the book.
Not being a mother myself, I wondered how much I would relate to Mim. Somehow, I don’t think it matters because once you get to know Mim, she wraps herself around you and takes you with her whether you are ready or not. In so many ways, I think there is some Mim in all of us, but she has more strength and tenacity than I can ever see myself having.
Also, well done to Claudia Karvan for a compelling read. What an honour it must have been to read share Mim’s story with the world, going on the ride with her first hand.
Do I recommend this book? Without a doubt, even if the thrilling pace is not your typical go-to. You won’t want to put it down, you will be left satisfied at the end, yet wanting more. You may be shaken a little but appreciate the big issues explored in the story. But mostly, you will be applauding Kate Mildenhall along with me as what I see as being heralded as the book of the year!
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