30 April 2019

Today's Read: A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas

Summar of A Good Enough Mother by Bev ThomasIs it possible for a therapist to help her patients when she herself is dealing with unresolved emotional issues? Ruth, head psychotherapist at the NHS Trauma Unit in London, always maintains the line between patient and doctor, until the day she doesn't. The consequences of her singular lapse in judgment are devastating.

Here's how the book opens:

On paper, Dan Griffin was nothing out of the ordinary. He was anxious, he was urgent, he was like any other patient we see at the Trauma Unit. “Unremarkable” was how I described him to the police. When they looked for answers in those early therapy sessions, they read about the bruise on his face, the terror in his voice, and the flashbacks that were so visceral they took his breath away, but there was nothing to hint at his capacity for violence. Nothing at all to suggest what he was capable of. It took awhile to understand that the question to ask wasn’t Why didn’t I see it coming? but Why didn’t I move out of the way?
A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas (Pamela Dorman, April 30,, p. 1 [ARC])

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times; London
  • Circumstances: Ruth's life has been crumbling ever since her 17-year-old son disappeared. Not knowing whether her boy is alive or dead, she cannot properly grieve, though she can worry. Her marriage has suffered, and her relationship with Tom's twin sister has also been broken. Ruth, however, is keeping her personal problems a secret from her colleagues at the NHS; she doesn't want their pity or advice. Although she's always maintained a strong doctor-patient wall, she falters when she meets George, a new patient who bears a strong resemblance to Tom. Ruth's blindness to George's tamped-down anger will have far-reaching effects.
  • Genre & themes: thriller, domestic thriller, motherhood, family drama, twins, surviving trauma
  • Why I want to read it: Author Thomas was a clinical psychologist for the NHS and uses her personal experiences and expertise to add authenticity to her debut novel. I like thrillers, especially domestic thrillers, and I generally trust Pamela Dorman Books.
  • Reviews: Publisher's Weekly gave A Good Enough Mother a starred review, and Kirkus was also very positive. The Goodreads rating is 3.91. Many reviewers thought the descriptions of psychotherapy were very well done, and others found the book to be emotionally powerful. On the other hand, some reader-reviewers had trouble getting into the story, and a few figured out the ending fairly early on.
  • Acknowledgments: thanks to Pamela Dorman Books for a digital review copy of Bev Thomas's debut novel, A Good Enough Mother.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 4/30/19, 6:34 AM  

I think I'd like to try this one.

Here is my pick:http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2019/04/first-chapter-first-paragraph-tuesday_30.html

rhapsodyinbooks 4/30/19, 7:31 AM  

I wouldn't have to worry about figuring stuff out in advance - I never do until the author spells it out!

Anonymous,  4/30/19, 8:14 AM  

I'd keep reading for sure. The opening is a real grabber. I'm having difficulty reconciling it with the title, though. Here's my link for today: https://wp.me/p4DMf0-1F1

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 4/30/19, 9:06 AM  

I recently picked up an ARC of this book at a publisher's event. After reading your post, I'm going to bump it up to the top of my reading pile.

Laurel-Rain Snow 4/30/19, 11:07 AM  

I noticed this book a few weeks ago, and immediately pre-ordered it, so I found it on my Kindle today. Yay! I love this kind of story, and my own career in social work/counseling will surely make the issues resonate with me.

Great excerpt.

JoAnn 4/30/19, 11:25 AM  

Sounds like a great read!

Nise' 4/30/19, 1:37 PM  

As a fan of debut authors and Pamela Dorman books, I would definitely pick this one up.

Vicki 4/30/19, 1:51 PM  

I can't imagine not knowing where one of my children were or if they were hurt or worse. I'd keep reading to see how it ends.

Yvonne 4/30/19, 8:05 PM  

Great opener! I think I would like reading this one.

Les in Oregon 5/2/19, 11:27 PM  

I would probably try this simply based on that beautiful cover art! :)

(Diane) bookchickdi 5/19/19, 5:15 PM  

Pamela Dorman books are always a good bet.

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