A Good Mother


Publisher’s Synopsis:
When a soldier is found stabbed through the heart at a US Army base, there is no doubt that his wife, Luz, is to blame. But was it an act of self-defense? An attempt to save her infant daughter? Or the cold-blooded murder of an innocent man?

Ambitious public defender Abby is determined to win at all costs. As a new mother herself, she wants to keep Luz out of prison and with her daughter. But when the surprises stack up and shocking new evidence emerges, Abby realizes the task proves far more difficult than she suspected and will require a terrible sacrifice.

As the trial hurtles toward an outcome no one expects, Abby, Luz and a captivated jury are forced to answer the question that will decide everything—what does it mean to be a good mother?

Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating between multiple perspectives.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
DNF @ 40%

In description, theme, narrator – this book had everything going for it in terms of what I should love. Instead, I hated it.

Cindy Kay’s spectacular narration and my fervent hope that Bazelon was going somewhere, anywhere redeemable with a single character are the only reason I got as far as I did.

Unfortunately, it’s just really bad. I can’t stand any of the characters. None of them. Not just objectionable or morally gray behavior – I’m fine with loving hating a character. But these were so one dimensional, stereotypical, and unrelatable on all levels. Additionally, the legal thriller aspect was completely lost to a decades worth of day time soap opera drama (see spoilers below). The only “history” the reader is given about the case is some emails between Travis and a girlfriend. All this did was give me more people to dislike and no concern for any kind of justice, moral or legal.

This was a narrator motivated pick because I really enjoy Cindy Kay. She was amazing here – the voices, accents, tension. Sadly, she wasn’t able to save the writing.

Specific objections that includes spoilers:

  • Abby (defense attorney) strips in front of a judge as some kind of misguided power play. The whole thing is bizarre and completely unbelievable. Both her actions and the judge’s response.
  • Will (other defense attorney, married) is having an affair with Luz (defendant). Additionally, there’s some kind of pain/control/dominance kink going on that’s just off.
  • Bazelon seems to be trying to juxtapose the “mothering” of Abby and Luz. It falls flat. Abby obviously didn’t plan her pregnancy and doesn’t want to be a mother. Motherhood isn’t for everyone for a variety of reasons, the issue is Abby seems to be determined to make everyone else miserable over it. Besides being a very young stay at home mom, Luz’s parenting isn’t even described other than she loves her daughter.

Published by rellimreads

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