Mother, Mother

A Novel

Zailckas, Koren

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Mother, Mother
Josephine Hurst has her family under control: two beautiful daughters, a brilliantly intelligent son, a tech-guru of a husband and a historical landmark home. But living in this matriarch's determinedly cheerful, yet subtly controlling domain hasn't been easy for her family. When her oldest daughter, Rose, runs off with a mysterious boyfriend, Josephine tightens her grip, gradually turning her flawless home into a darker sort of prison.

Published: New York :, Crown Publishers,, [2013]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 0385347235
Branch Call Number: F ZAI
Characteristics: 366 pages ;,22 cm


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Jan 20, 2014
  • lucky38 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Started out really liking this book, but for me it lost steam midway thru. The mother had control issues to put it mildly and no one in the family seemed to relate to each other. Will, maybe because of his age, was the most damaged. His mother had plenty of practice on his two sisters. Poor kid did not have a chance. The story became bizarre and for me, less believable. Still, a good read.

Dec 20, 2013
  • KateHillier rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

You are glued to this thing once you start, let me tell you! The mother, Josephine, in this story is one of the most insane people I've encountered in literature! Things just escalate and when you think there's no way she'll go that far she does. Near the end I was shocked almost as much as I wasn't by her actions. It almost reminds me of Gone Girl in the madness of what goes on but you are almost forewarned here unlike in Gone Girl.

The family exists for Josephine to look good or manipulate things to her satisfaction. In that regard the characters only exist as opponents to that (Violet) or disciples (Will). Whether or not you like the characters - and I think everyone is ruined in some way here, even those who try not to get involved - it is a gripping read.

Dec 01, 2013
  • Bibioteka rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A dangerous read that makes you want to take a day off work to get to the ending.
Well done for its genre.

Nov 12, 2013

"Sixteen-year-old Violet has been committed to a mental hospital after supposedly injuring Will, her 12-year-old brother; Will is both brainwashed and autistic; older sister Rose has run away; dad's an alcoholic. And mom? Mom's the powerful force behind all that devastation, both sadistic and narcissistic as she manipulates others for her own reasons. Violet, despite her institutionalisation, is perhaps the most stable, but as she tries to discover clues to Rose's disappearance (and what really happened the night Will got hurt), she invites more violence into her life. Told from both Violet and Will's points of view, Mother, Mother is disturbing in its revelations of abuse and riveting in its slow unfolding." Thrillers and Suspense November 2013 newsletter

Nov 10, 2013
  • arrina rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I thought this was a very well written book. The topic is especially creepy knowing a little about the author. I read that in her real life, she had a mother similar to Josephine. I liked the alternating perspectives--one chapter from Violet's view and the next from Will's view.

Oct 04, 2013
  • amodolo rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book was creepy because of how real it is. Knowing that there are people like Josephine out there is scary and makes you wonder what you really know about people.

I really liked how the story is told from the perspectives of Violet and Will because it shows how their lives are different from the way they are each treated.

Koren does a great job slowly revealing pieces of the story, making this a sort of puzzle for the reader to unravel and put back together.


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