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The Mothers

Narrated by: Nicky Diss
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Summary

When five very different mothers met in their NCT class three years ago, they had no idea that their lives were to become inextricably entwined.

There's Bella, stay-at-home mum of Teddy. She suffered postpartum psychosis after Teddy's birth. There's Chrissy, divorce lawyer, married to Russell. They're having some problems with their sex life. There's Electra, mother to twins, who is struggling with her son's behaviour. There's Skye, a single mother, who used a sperm donor to have her baby. Then there's Jen. She was supposed to be a mother, but it hasn't worked out like she expected.   

In fact, nothing has worked out quite like any of them expected, and now Bella's husband is missing - after stealing a life-changing amount of money from the accountancy he works at. The police want to get to the bottom of what happened, yet the five women seem to be hiding something. But what are they hiding? What secrets could possibly be holding these very different women together?  

For fans of Big Little Lies, Friend Request and He Said/She Said, this is first-class psychological suspense from the critically acclaimed Sarah J Naughton. 

©2019 Sarah J. Naughton (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another Thriller Muddied by Mental Health Issues

This book is hard to rate - I really liked "Tattletale" and I ADORED "The Other Couple" - so I really was expecting great things from this author Sarah J Naughton and had this book on pre order as soon as I heard of it. The set up of the diverse group of friends was intriguing and the missing husband and chapter one did start out well. The narration was excellent, the story seemed like it was a real page turner but being overshadowed by mental illness ruined it for me.

In fact I nearly returned it before I even reached the first chapter as I found the prologue so off putting. I listen to audiobooks for relaxation and I find a great thriller, especially one set in a luxurious exotic setting as "The Other Couple" was to be just perfect .... but as soon as the red herring of a hallucination inducing psychiatric disorder is introduced, I just do not want to hear any more.
Firstly because it is a serious, disturbing and gritty issue, especially when it involves post natal depression and secondly because it is such a cop out as a suspense device .... is a man really following me with an axe in his pocket or was it the milkman and I am going bonkers.
Rather like the equally serious and upsetting cave-in of animal cruelty being used to ramp up the drama and impending threat - I find it just such a cheap cliche and in the case of many less talented authors, struggling to write a thriller just plain lazy and transparently formulaic.
I suppose I just expected more from Sarah J Naughton who is a compelling storyteller and once the shadow of mental illness/postnatal depression and delusions was cast I just was no longer interested in reading a thriller - however good - which depends on psychiatric disorders to work.
I also think it is disrespectful to those who struggle with mental disorders that this is used so much as a weasel in thrillers.
I am sure this book was written very well as per the first two books but for me, I prefer plot lines where one of the main characters does not fear they are having a terrifying slide into psychosis, as apart from anything else,it has been done to death already.
I will look out for Sarah J Naughton's next book, but am returning this one and just so sorry it was not on a par with "The Other Couple".

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Good listen

I liked the narration of this book and the story was enjoyable and more so because, for a change, I didn’t see all of the twists coming.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fascinating story, lazy characterisation.

Interesting story but some characters felt painfully cliché. A clear aim to include a diverse range of characters but the 'hippy', the 'gay man', the 'queer lady' , 'troubled detective' all felt like they had been written 100 times before and it became difficult to feel for the characters when they were so clearly archetypes of diversity.

The author made some peculiar and unlikely choices in character also as for some reason the lead detective Iona, feels the need to say whether she would date or fall in love with every woman she meets. I don't know if this was a way of reminding the reader about Iona's sexuality or showing that she was very much longing for a partner but it felt incredibly unprofessional and out of place. As a queer lady I can't fathom doing this and I don't think anyone feels the need to describe whether they would date someone everytime they meet someone new?

The story is somewhat predictable but with fascinating loops and turns that leaves you where you thought you'd be but in an engaging and thought-provoking way.

Narrator is excellent and conveys characters well. I would warn however that if you are listening on a low volume you may struggle to hear any whispered dialogue without turning it up a bit.