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Mother, Mother

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Mother, Mother Cover

ISBN13: 9780385347235
ISBN10: 0385347235
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Less Than Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Koren Zailckas, author of the iconic memoir Smashed: an electrifying debut novel about a family being torn apart by the woman who claims to love them most.

Josephine Hurst has her family under control. With two beautiful daughters, a brilliantly intelligent son, a tech-guru of a husband and a historical landmark home, her life is picture perfect. She has everything she wants; all she has to do is keep it that way. But living in this matriarch’s determinedly cheerful, yet subtly controlling domain hasn’t been easy for her family, and when her oldest daughter, Rose, runs off with a mysterious boyfriend, Josephine tightens her grip, gradually turning her flawless home into a darker sort of prison.

Resentful of her sister’s newfound freedom, Violet turns to eastern philosophy, hallucinogenic drugs, and extreme fasting, eventually landing herself in the psych ward. Meanwhile, her brother Will shrinks further into a world of self-doubt. Recently diagnosed with Aspergers and epilepsy, he’s separated from the other kids around town and is homeschooled to ensure his safety. Their father, Douglas, finds resolve in the bottom of the bottle — an addict craving his own chance to escape. Josephine struggles to maintain the family’s impeccable façade, but when a violent incident leads to a visit from child protective services, the truth about the Hursts might finally be revealed.

Written with the style, dark wit and shrewd psychological insight that made Smashed a bestseller, Zailckas’s first novel is unforgettable. In the spirit of classic suspense novels by Shirley Jackson and Daphne DuMaurier, Mother, Mother is the terrifying and page-turning story of a mother’s love gone too far, and the introduction of a commanding new voice in fiction.

Review:

"This is a riveting fiction debut from Zailckas, whose bestselling memoirs Smashed and Fury portrayed the author as a young woman ravaged by alcohol addiction and anger. Never mind that Zailckas explores some of the same disturbing territory here. It's the kind of book that keeps you up at night, featuring a mother to rival Medea or Mrs. Bates. Violet, the dysfunctional Hurst family's stoner middle child, cannot remember which family member slashed her 12-year-old brother Will the night she overdosed on some strange seeds. But her mother, Josephine, blames her, and has her committed to a psychiatric hospital. Violet has no idea who to turn to for help: her spineless, alcoholic father, Douglas; her runaway older sister, Rose; or Will, the home-schooled mama's boy. Violet searches for clues relating to Rose's disappearance, but nothing adds up, and every day Will becomes more desperately dependent on Josephine. The shocking and violent denouement shows Zailckas to be a consummate storyteller. Let's hope that when she's used up all her own demons as subject matter, she'll come looking for ours. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“A hall of mirrors reflecting chaotic maternal psychological mayhem reminiscent of Mommie Dearest or Push or Ordinary People.” Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Koren Zailckas's Mother Mother is disturbing in the best possible way: believably. The slow, subtle darkness at the core of this book starts as a trickle and grows to a flash flood, and not once does it stop feeling absolutely authentic. Zailckas has written a gut-wrenching exploration of narcissism, dependence and family. It's an amazing book." Kelly Braffet, author of Josie and Jack and Last Seen Leaving

Review:

“Richly imagined and bring[s] to mind Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted....An excellent page-turner recommended for those who enjoy psychological thrillers and aren't afraid of narratives that look evil in the face.” Library Journal

Review:

“Zailckas crafts an intriguing mystery surrounding this family that will keep readers on edge as she slowly peels back layer after layer of deception.” Booklist

About the Author

Koren Zailckas is an internationally bestselling writer, and has contributed to The Guardian, U.S. News & World Report, Glamour, Jane, and Seventeen magazine. She currently lives with her family in the Catskills mountains of New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

kas, October 3, 2013 (view all comments by kas)
Zailckas has crafted a very original work that will stick in readers' minds -- at least my mind, certainly -- for a lot longer than most novels. Reading this book makes me eager to get another taste of her authorial voice by picking up her bestseller *Smashed*.

One of the greatest strengths of *Mother, Mother* is its structure as a tale told through two characters' perspectives. The two perspectives are those of the children of the titular mother, Josephine -- namely, William and Violet Hurst. It is the idiosyncratic, yet deeply human voices of William and Violet that make this novel so touching and compelling -- and often downright masterful.

Needless to say, the two young people do not view their unique familial situation in the same light, so this opens up many new layers for the reader to consider than if the tale were told through the use of a third-person omniscient narrator.

Another feature of this novel I admire is Zailckas's use of all sorts of absurd, informal language to describe serious matters. Sometimes nothing less than the absurd is sufficiently descriptive, and it's a great way to give the reader the flavor of the psychological perspective -- whether William's or Violet's -- currently being employed.

This book is a lot more than a tale of disturbing familial dysfunction -- it's a truly great multi-faceted psychological novel.

Please be advised I won an Advance Reader's Edition of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program; I'm obligated to point that out.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385347235
Author:
Zailckas, Koren
Publisher:
Crown
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20130917
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.56 x 6.13 x 1.14 in 1.1 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

Mother, Mother Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Crown - English 9780385347235 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This is a riveting fiction debut from Zailckas, whose bestselling memoirs Smashed and Fury portrayed the author as a young woman ravaged by alcohol addiction and anger. Never mind that Zailckas explores some of the same disturbing territory here. It's the kind of book that keeps you up at night, featuring a mother to rival Medea or Mrs. Bates. Violet, the dysfunctional Hurst family's stoner middle child, cannot remember which family member slashed her 12-year-old brother Will the night she overdosed on some strange seeds. But her mother, Josephine, blames her, and has her committed to a psychiatric hospital. Violet has no idea who to turn to for help: her spineless, alcoholic father, Douglas; her runaway older sister, Rose; or Will, the home-schooled mama's boy. Violet searches for clues relating to Rose's disappearance, but nothing adds up, and every day Will becomes more desperately dependent on Josephine. The shocking and violent denouement shows Zailckas to be a consummate storyteller. Let's hope that when she's used up all her own demons as subject matter, she'll come looking for ours. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “A hall of mirrors reflecting chaotic maternal psychological mayhem reminiscent of Mommie Dearest or Push or Ordinary People.”
"Review" by , "Koren Zailckas's Mother Mother is disturbing in the best possible way: believably. The slow, subtle darkness at the core of this book starts as a trickle and grows to a flash flood, and not once does it stop feeling absolutely authentic. Zailckas has written a gut-wrenching exploration of narcissism, dependence and family. It's an amazing book."
"Review" by , “Richly imagined and bring[s] to mind Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted....An excellent page-turner recommended for those who enjoy psychological thrillers and aren't afraid of narratives that look evil in the face.”
"Review" by , “Zailckas crafts an intriguing mystery surrounding this family that will keep readers on edge as she slowly peels back layer after layer of deception.”
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