Mother, Mother: A Novel - Koren Zailckas

I admit, when I started this book I thought to myself "Thriller? Psychological? I wouldn't call it that at all." But, whoa boy, once I really got into it, that psychology and thrill just snuck right up on me. This is a fast-paced thriller that I could NOT put down! I read this in one day because I really just had to see what happened next and how it all ended.

Dysfunctional does not even begin to describe this family. The mother, Josephine, is a few crayons short of a box; the father, Douglas, is an absentee alcoholic; the eldest child, Rose, is a runaway; the middle child, Violet, turns to drugs and ends up in a psychiatric hospital; the youngest child, William, is a 12 year old child diagnosed w/Asperger's whose mother flosses his teeth and bathes him. Wow. Just typing that out was overwhelming.

I would have to say that my least favorite character in this novel was Josephine. As soon as I started really getting to know her character, all I could think of was Munchausen by Proxy syndrome (for those not familiar: a form of child abuse wherein the caregiver falsifies or exaggerates a child's illness to gain attention for themselves.) No wonder her whole family has issues and doesn't want to be near her!! Those crayons she is missing hold the whole box together. So many times I just wanted to yell at characters in this story and expose her for what she really was. And the fact that she dressed and bathed her 12 year old son, as well as pinched his bottom and flossed his teeth, gave me the creeps. She was all Joan Crawford on these kids (no lie- it's referenced in the book!) As the lies and the stories all start to weave together and the truth finally comes to light, it all makes sense. But the thrill was getting to that point, trying to figure it out, riding the tide to the end.

One thing I really must say I enjoyed about this book is the fact that the story carried on after the main event. So many books that I have read get to the climax of the story and abruptly stop which leaves me wondering what happened next. Zailckas continues the story on, chronicling what happened to each of the family members and how they coped. It was nice not to be left in the dark for once.

I don't want to give too many details on the story at risk of giving something away, so I highly recommend picking this book up and checking it out for yourself.!

Recommended For: Fans of a good psychological thriller

*I received this book through Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.