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!