The Mothers was one of the most critically-acclaimed novels of 2016. “Dazzling”, “stunning”, “heartbreaking” – it attracted all the usual literary hyperbole.
For me, it was more of a “meh”; not bad but hardly deserving of all the rave reviews.
The story revolves around three teens: Nadia, Aubrey and Luke. Nadia, still reeling from her mother’s suicide, and Luke, the pastor’s son, have had a secret relationship resulting in an abortion. Luke later marries Nadia’s best friend, Aubrey – but the secret of the unborn baby haunts them all well into adulthood.
The book deals deftly with themes of motherhood, loss and grief. But the teen drama veers too close to Young Adult territory for my liking, and while Bennett can craft a beautiful sentence she never quite manages to bring the characters alive.
Next: A brand new novella.