Book Review: The Good Mother by A.L. Bird

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Title - The Good Mother
Author - A. L. Bird
Publication Date - April 4th 2016
Publisher - Carina UK
Format - Kindle Edition
Pages - 347

The greatest bond. The darkest betrayal.

Susan wakes up alone in a room she doesn't recognise, with no memory of how she got there. She only knows that she is trapped, and her daughter is missing.

The relief that engulfs her when she hears her daughter's voice through the wall is quickly replaced by fear.

The person who has imprisoned her has her daughter too.

Devising a plan to keep her daughter safe, Susan begins to get closer to her unknown captor. And suddenly, she realises that she has met him before.

A.L. Bird takes readers straight to the action when opening her novel The Good Mother. The reader is introduced to Susan, who has absolutely no idea of where she is. She's locked behind a door, in a room with just a single window giving her a glimpse of the outside world, with no memory of how she got there. The first thing that occupies Susan's head-space is the whereabouts of her daughter. The second is how she's going to get out. Throughout the course of this twisting and deceiving novel, A. L. Bird explores the darkest and deepest depths of trust, relationships and motherhood in a wholly unsettling way that crept right beneath my skin and managed to remain there until the very last page.

 I loved the pacing of The Good Mother by A. L. Bird. From the get-go, the author ensured I wanted and needed to know more about the scenario Susan had managed to find herself in. A million and one questions instantly bombarded my mind and I couldn't wait for the answers to be delivered. Who had done this to her? Where was her daughter? And when would she meet her captor? Bird built the tension brilliantly within this book as the plot progressed. It was taut and chilling, opaque in the sense that I really did'n't have a clue of how the author was going to twist this tale to shock her readers. There were moments when the atmosphere within this novel felt claustrophobic, suffocating even.

When Susan's captor and daughter were introduced, this story took a completely new turn for me. The sense of panic and tension heightened and the urge to escape grew stronger, impossible to ignore for Susan. The only constant in her mind was her daughter's welfare and the words exchanged between the two were tender, despite the awfully frightening situation they were in. What I found even more interesting was the bizarre spark between Susan and her captor. It was totally unexpected and it took a while for me to accept it was happening at all. It was strange and felt like an intruder amongst everything else that was going on. Alongside this, Bird provided the reader with Susan's captor's point of view, allowing an insight I again didn't expect to find. It was incredibly interesting and unusual, something I didn't quite know how to feel about, but it widened the boundaries of this story and made it all the more chilling.

The twists and turns within The Good Mother by A. L. Bird were brilliant, I thought. It definitely kept me guessing and trying to figure out how it all fit together, and when the answers were provided, I couldn't quite believe what the author had achieved. Bird pulled the wool over my eyes completely and by the end of this book, I was shaking my head in wonderment. I felt that about half-way through the novel, I perhaps lost the thread a little bit between the different characters, but it certainly picked back up towards the end and re-snatched my interest.

All in all, The Good Mother by A. L. Bird was a clever, twisting and teasing tale. It played with my mind and ensured I was kept on my toes as the author revealed, bit by tiny bit, Susan's character and situation. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to any readers out there who enjoy a read that tugs you into its pages and makes you feel as if you're right there alongside the character, behind the locked door.

Becca's Books is awarding The Good Mother by A. L. Bird with four of my bookish stars. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the author's next release! I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve for readers next.


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