Book Reviews

The Good Mother by Cathryn Grant


If Amy had to describe her life in one word, it would be ‘perfect.’ Her marriage, her home, twin daughters. She feels certain she’s the envy of her close-knit circle of friends. Everything was just as she wished it to be—until that shameless woman moved into town and had the audacity to allow her to play soccer on their soccer team. And now her daughter wanted to be friends with that woman’s child? Amy decided right then and there that Charlotte had to go… one way or another.

Charlotte is a photographer, forced to raise her daughter alone after a terrible mistake in judgement stole the little girl’s father away from them. Returning to her hometown was the last thing she wanted to do, but she had nowhere else to go. Everything would be fine. Or so she thought until Amy tries to rally her soccer-mom friends to help drive Charlotte out of town. When Amy’s single-minded mission to get rid of her go from being a mere annoyance to overtly threatening, Charlotte begins to fear how far Amy is willing to go in order to get it done.

The Good Mother was the antithesis of the last book I read—it was SO good! I wish I’d been able to read it from start to finish in one sitting, but the time to do so was a luxury I didn’t have. Instead, I read as much as I possibly could whenever I had a chance to get some reading done, and moaned and groaned more than usual whenever I was forced to stop.

Most of the adult characters in this book aren’t very likable, with the exception of Charlotte. I felt so badly for her, being so ostracized practically from the moment she steps foot into town. Amy took one look at the way she dressed, the way she carried herself, made a snap judgement about what sort of woman Charlotte “had” to be, and proceeded to make her life a living hell. It infuriated me, and I wanted so badly to leap into the book and smack Amy upside the head and tell her to leave that poor woman alone!

There was a pivotal event in Amy’s childhood that shaped the woman she was to become—and tied directly into why she was so outraged by Charlotte’s appearance. The fallout from that terrible event drove everything she did from the moment she met Charlotte, as well as being the reason why she did everything in her life. There were times I felt sympathy for her, only to have it disappear when she did the next vindictive thing.

There’s a subplot that contributes to the overall story, and it’s something all the major characters are aware of, though each of them react to it in vastly different ways. I won’t get into what it’s about, since it isn’t mentioned in the book description. It does tie in to another crucial event in the story in a way that took me by surprise. It perfectly illustrated the mindset of a certain character at that moment in time, adding a greater sense of trepidation to the reader moving forward. I was definitely reading with bated breath from that moment on!

I had an idea of how the story might end, and I’m glad it didn’t end that way because it was something I considered for more than half the book. The way Grant chose to wrap it up wasn’t at all what I suspected, but it was still very satisfying. Hooray for unpredictability!

This is my first book by Cathryn Grant, but it won’t be my last. This was a great introduction to a new-to-me author.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Inkubator Books via Netgalley.

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Author: Cathryn Grant
Title: The Good Mother
Genre: Domestic Thriller
Publication Date: January 8, 2020 by Inkubator Books
Rating: 4 stars

About the Book

Amy’s life is picture perfect. Mess with that picture – you’re going to pay.

Amy’s life is close to perfect – two lovely daughters, a wonderful husband and she’s queen bee in her circle of soccer moms. She feels content, like she’s finally put some distance between herself and the terrible events of long ago.

The only fly in the ointment is Charlotte, a recent arrival to this affluent suburban community. The shameless way she dresses, the way the men look at her… it’s not right, she’s just not the kind of person they want around here.

Amy spearheads a drive to exclude Charlotte, to make it clear to her that she’s not welcome here. Infuriatingly, Charlotte doesn’t seem to care… And when her daughter joins the soccer team there’s just no getting away from her.

But Amy knows from bitter experience the kind of trouble a woman like Charlotte can bring. And there is no way on earth that her girls are ever going to be exposed to anything like that. The solution is clear – Charlotte has to go. No matter what it takes.

The gripping domestic thriller for fans of Liane Moriarty, T. M. Logan, and Sally Hepworth.

About the Author

CATHRYN GRANT writes psychological thrillers, psychological suspense, and ghost stories. She’s the author of twenty-three novels. She’s loved crime fiction all her life and is endlessly fascinated by the twists and turns, and the dark corners of the human mind. When she’s not writing, Cathryn reads fiction, eavesdrops, and tries to play golf without hitting her ball into the sand or the water. She lives on the Central California coast with her husband and two cats.

6 thoughts on “The Good Mother by Cathryn Grant”

  1. I love it when a book can make up for my disappointment in the last one I read. This one sounds like a slam-bam of a domestic thriller!

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