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Saturday 16 March 2024

A Good Enough Mother by Sheila Norton


Cover of A Good Enough Mother by Sheila Norton, reviewed by Is This Mutton

Dear friends. Today's book spotlight is about a single mother who's trying to do her best but feels under pressure from others. It's a very good contemporary read. It's my stop on the blog tour for A Good Enough Mother by Sheila Norton. 

Publisher's Description

Mia is telling me a story. It’s about a princess, who lives in a castle, on a street that bears a remarkable resemblance to ours. About a kind old lady who’s the queen. I’m distracted for a moment by her little hand softly slipping into mine. My daughter. My angel.

But then she says something that pulls me from my reverie. She says that the queen doesn’t treat the princess well. She punishes her and doesn’t let her eat anything. 

Helen, my neighbour, has been so good to me. And more importantly, she’s so good with the children. Surely this is just another story of Mia’s, just make believe.

Because if it’s not, maybe my dad was right all along: I was never good enough to be a mother, and I’ve let my precious children down in the worst way possible.

A heartbreaking and uplifting story about the choices a mother makes for the sake of her children, perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Emma Robinson and Kate Hewitt.

My Thoughts 

Jess is a young mother of two, struggling to make ends meet and find affordable childcare. She split from her brutal husband and is estranged from her father, so she really is on her own.

Jess lost her mum as a teenager and none of her friends is in the same situation, so she has no network of fellow mums. This leaves her vulnerable because she can't ask anyone for parenting advice. When Helen and Robert move in, middle aged parents of grown up children, she's thrilled when they take an interest in the children. They start collecting the children from school and nursery and then progress to  looking after them. 

But things turn a bit sinister. Jess feels her decisions are being questioned and undermined. They're buying vast amounts of toys. Meanwhile her daughter's sightings of "Daddy" in the vicinity -  even though Mia hardly knows him - cause more alarm, .

The situation seems very real. Jess comes across as a caring and determined mum trying to do her best while juggling 101 things. The children are adorable, particularly 4 year old Mia and her sayings.

Norton keeps the story going with just enough twists and turns to force us to carry on reading.

An excellent contemporary read.

About the Author

Sheila Norton lives in Chelmsford, Essex and part-time in Torquay, Devon. She is the author of 25 books so far, covering several different sub-genres of contemporary fiction. 

She is now being published by Boldwood Books, writing emotionally-charged family-based novels, the first of which, 'A Good Enough Mother', was published on 13 March 2024.

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Advance Readers' Acclaim

Loved this book!!!!!… Addictive. There was no way I was putting it down, I literally started reading the book around 10am and couldn't put it down until around 4am. Hahaha I'm so glad it was the weekend!!!!… I definitely recommend it!!!’ NetGalley reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘A breathtaking novel about motherhood… I felt angst, tension, compassion, empathy, surprise and suspicion…. Do not miss this novel, especially if you enjoy reading about families and their realistic struggles and moments of joy…. Grabbed my heart… Phenomenally emotive.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘A masterpiece story of a family finding their way… Hit all the feels for me and I was invested in the story from the beginning to the brilliant end. My emotions ran wild throughout this story and I would love to see this become a Netflix hit.’ NetGalley reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘A remarkable tale depicting a family's journey through the complexities of emotional challenges. Norton's storytelling kept engrossed me from start to finish, leaving a lasting impact… Truly captivating.’ NetGalley reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘A really great read. I really enjoyed this story… Beautifully written and a mother’s love for her children shines throughout the book as Jess struggles to make a home for them all and keep them safe.’ NetGalley reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I LOVED this book. I was so drawn in by the weird dynamics between Jess and the neighbours.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thanks to Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Things, the author, and publisher Boldwood Books for the advance digital copy in return for an honest review.


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