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The Mothers, by Sarah J. Naughton


The Mothers book cover


Blimey, what a book! The Mothers front cover gives little away about the extraordinary journey readers are taken on over the course of this book. Part police investigation, part psychological mystery, part woman-affirming literature.
Five women united by their antenatal classes continue their unlikely friendship with regular meet ups to discuss the highs and lows of motherhood and marriage whilst also letting their hair down and relaxing. The morning after one such ‘Mother’s Club’ night out, Bella discovers her husband has disappeared and reports it to the police who suspect he has run away with one of the other mums that also can’t be found…
The plot narrative then splits between the lead police detective Iona and her investigation in the present day, and the five mothers in the past. This leads us to make guesses about what may have happened and develops our empathy with all of the women.
The women are portrayed as strong despite their vulnerabilities and problems, and female friendship is a key theme to the book. There were plenty of twists but the final couple of chapters were really good at tying up loose ends.
Iona is a likeable character and interesting lead detective. She is gay and fancies one of her colleagues which makes her behave erratically at times. I found her portrayal to be very realistic and human, and this divided my loyalties as the storylines of the five mothers were revealed and the investigation develops.
Author Sarah J. Naughton writes clearly and compassionately about her characters, making us feel an affinity with both the suspects and the police. I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to read more from this author!


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‘Gripping, tense, taut and brilliant. You’ll be begging your friends to read it so you can discuss it over and over again.’ Rebecca Reid, Grazia
The Mothers
from Costa short-listed author
Sarah J Naughton
Published as a paperback original by Trapeze, 9th January 2020, £7.99. Also available in eBook and audio.
Five women meet at their local antenatal group. The only thing they really have in common is that they are all pregnant and live within the Chelsea area. Beyond that they all lead very different lives.
Five secrets. Three years later, they are all good friends and often meet up as a group, nick named ‘The Mothers Club’. They get along well enough. Don’t they?
One missing husband. When Bella’s husband goes missing the same night as one of their mothers club get togethers, the police come knocking. Each of the women clearly have secrets they’d like to hide. But the trouble with secrets is that someone always tells…
Author Sarah J. Naughton
Sarah J Naughton grew up in Dorset and is the bestselling author of The Other Couple and Tattletale. Her debut children’s thriller, The Hanged Man Rises was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Award. The Mothers is her third novel for adults. Sarah now lives with her family in Belgravia.

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