Title:  The Wrong Mother
Author:  Sophie Hannah
Release date:  September 29, 2009
Publisher:  Penguin
Pages:  432
Genre:  Adult fiction, Thriller
Source:  Publisher

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!