Review: Mother, Mother

You aren't one of those Pinterest mothers, are you? You know the kind I mean, the ones who throw the perfect color-coordinated birthday parties for thirty six year olds while simultaneously serving as PTA president, whipping up paleo meals served promptly - and with appropriate garnish - at five each evening, and still fit two hours at the gym with makeup that apparently never comes off? I hope not. Because motherhood perfection like that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

okay, so I hate Pinterest, but I am so trying this for Little Kid's next birthday party....whatev
Enter Koren Zailckas' new novel, Mother, Mother. You might remember Zailckas from her previous best-selling non-fiction work Smashed. This time she has dipped her pen in the fiction fountain and come up with some serious whackadoodle. For me, it was love at first sight.

What we have here is one serious Pinterest mom.  Okay, so she doesn't exactly spend her time pinning, at least not in these pages, but she might as well be.  To the outside world, Josephine Hurst is the perfect mother. Everything she does is utterly perfect. And she's not ashamed of that perfection.

Except....(and this is the part I revel in)....

except she is so not perfect.  The woman is whackadoodle. (Okay, okay, so the official psychological world would label it Borderline Personality Disorder slash Narcissism, but I'm allowed to say whackadoodle because I like the word. Try it, it just rolls off the tongue.) This smugness I feel as I find out that ever-so-perfect Josephine is a whack job turns out to be somewhat mitigated as the damage she is inflicting upon her family begins to unfold.  Teenage children, a husband who may - or may not - be adding to the family problems all begin to boil over, cumulating some very dire consequences for everyone involved.

Needless to say, the tension remains taut throughout the novel. Alternating points of view between two of Josephine's children, the pace moves quickly and events change the reader's opinion often. Others might call this novel a page-turner, but I'll just call it a damned good read.

Title: Mother, Mother: A Novel
Author: Koren Zailckas
Publisher: Crown
Date: September 17, 2013
Pages: 384
Source:  Publisher

Rating:  4.5 Stars....we loves us some whackadoodle


  1. I'll try to find this book for sometime in my near reading future, but I will start employing the word 'wackadoodle' in

  2. I am not one of these mothers. My kids totally got the short end of the stick when it came to craft projects, and I don't think I have one Halloweeny thing up in my house. So you don't need to worry about me being whackadoodle (in THAT category anyway). I have been intrigued with this one...I like messed up and that cover kinda says it all.

  3. I made my own mother read this. We were both impressed by what a great job she did with building the family dynamics. It takes all kinds in the family to deal with the mother these kids endured.

  4. I wasn't that kind of mom but I knew plenty of them. I secretly suspected they were Stepford Wives. This book sounds terrific!

  5. Totally love the whackadoodle! This book kept me on my toes and skeeved out the whole time!

  6. Ugh. No way I could have been that kind of mom

  7. I know some moms like this. Will have to check this one out and see if I recognize the whackadoodle variety!

  8. I'd love to get to this book and I like the description so very much!


Fire away!