Sally Thorning is watching TV one ordinary evening when she hears the name of a man she wanted to forget she’d ever known: Mark Bretherick. But the face of Mark Bretherick on the screen is not the same person she met and spent a week with last year. The Mark that Sally knew had a wife named Geraldine and a daughter named Lucy. The Mark on TV had a wife named Geraldine and a daughter named Lucy, too, except that he’s on the news explaining that the two of them were found dead.
So, this book was sent to me as a surprise from the publisher, and since I’d heard good things about Sophie Hannah I finally decided to read it. It’s hard to summarize The Wrong Mother because it’s sort of a complicated book. I was beyond confused for at least the first fifty pages. But once I sort of figured out what the mystery was here, it got very interesting very quickly.
Whenever I read a thriller, I find myself wondering why I don’t read them more often. That was definitely true of The Wrong Mother – the book really had me wanting to read more of these kinds of books. The plot was engaging and kept me on the edge of my seat. I was totally in the dark about what was really going on, didn’t guess the truth at all, which is exactly what I require from these kinds of books.
And let’s talk a little about the characters. They were written very, VERY well in my opinion. Sally was just so authentic, I believed in her completely. She was a flawed person, she had made this horrible mistake in her rendezvous with Mark Bretherick, but she was trying so hard to make up for it, trying so hard to be a good mother and a good wife in order to forgive herself for her transgression. I felt her pain so deeply, I empathized with her desire to go back and erase that week she spent being someone other than herself, and I was so sad for her when the past came creeping back into her life in such a shocking and scary way. I even sympathized with Geraldine, or at least the diary version of Geraldine, I didn’t think she was a good person by any means, but it was her honesty that got to me. The fact that she was so upfront about her feelings about being a mother, even with herself, shocked me and made me sort of admire her. In a weird way, I suppose.
Anyway, what I’m trying to tell you is that this book is GOOD. It was better than I was expecting, it was more of a literary thriller than I was thinking it would be, so I loved that. If you are a fan of these types of books (Tana French is the best comparison I can make), definitely pick up Sophie Hannah’s The Wrong Mother. You won’t be sorry you did!