First of all, this book was a complete breath of fresh air. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this one. It combines family life with a crime novel, a combination I’ve not encountered before! I cannot commend Anoushka Beazley or recommend The Good Enough Mother enough!
The Good Enough Mother shares the story of Drea, a newly single mother to a child not biologically hers, left with the difficult task of explaining to said child, Ava, that they can no longer afford her school fees. However, instead of going down this route, Drea does everything in her power to ensure that Ava doesn’t have to change schools and have her education disrupted.
I have to admit, I was a little taken aback by the beginning, so I was unsure as to whether I would enjoy the book. I’m not sure why but it always makes me feel a little uncomfortable when people are so brutally honest about parenting. The brutal honesty trend has really taken off recently but I have been used to the sugar coating and idea that having a child is perfect and amazing. Maybe it’s because the thought of my parents saying similar things about me when I was small makes me a little sad? Who knows? But I couldn’t stop reading once I got over my initial shock! There are so many twists and turns in this tale and so many moments I was reading with bated breath.
As I’m not a parent yet, I’m not entirely sure I’m qualified to comment on this, but I feel The Good Enough Mother would strike a chord with most parents. My parents have frequently told me they would do anything for me and this parental feeling is shown in Drea’s actions. Ironically her behaviour is synonymous with what a desperate loving mother would do but she cannot see this makes her a more than good enough mother, not until the end Admittedly her actions were questionable but the desperation that drove her towards them is clear.
Regardless of Drea’s insistence that Ava isn’t her real daughter, looking back on the book it was obvious all the time that Drea’s love for Ava was unquestionable. Other characters that should have been as important as Ava were barely mentioned, such as Alex leaving them for a younger woman. The story is centred on Ava and how to get the money for her tuition fees. Like any other mother, Drea takes on the burden herself and soldiers on.
The metaphors and descriptions were not what you would expect but they somehow worked perfectly. They are bizarre and imaginative and the unusualness of them made the description clearer and easier to imagine: “Oh how I hated the school run. It was like a living thing. Every day, just at the point I thought I had no more hate left in me, I found a way to hate it more. It was like a mutated lizard’s tale that, if cut off, would not only grow back even bigger, with festering pustules, making it even more loathsome.”
I found The Good Enough Mother to be very honest – not all people are the stereotypical mother and that’s okay. It shows Ava and Drea love each other regardless of their dysfunctional relationship and ‘normal’ doesn’t have to apply. I also loved the brutal takedown of the snooty rich mother’s in the town of Gatlin. Beazley really captured the perception of these people and how some people are in real life! The descriptions of their behaviour, mannerisms and speech had me howling with laughter!
If you’re looking for a book that’s entirely out of the ordinary but completely brilliant, The Good Enough Mother is the book for you! In fact, enter this giveaway and you could be the lucky recipient of a signed copy!
You can buy The Good Enough Mother here.