Publisher:William Morrow Paperbacks (March 27, 2018)
An atmospheric and harrowing tale, richly literary in complexity but ripe with all the crazed undertones, confusions, and forebodings inherent in the gothic genre. Recommend this riveting, du Maurier like novel to fans of Jennifer McMahon. Booklist (starred review)
From the author of the internationally bestselling The Lake of Dead Languages comes a gripping novel about madness, motherhood, love, and trust.
When Daphne Marist and her infant daughter, Chloe, pull up the gravel drive to the home of Daphne’s new employer, it feels like they’ve entered a whole new world. Tucked in the Catskills, the stone mansion looks like something out of a fairy tale, its lush landscaping hiding the view of the mental asylum just beyond its border. Daphne secured the live-in position using an assumed name and fake credentials, telling no one that she’s on the run from a controlling husband who has threatened to take her daughter away.
Daphne’s new life is a far cry from the one she had in Westchester where, just months before, she and her husband welcomed little Chloe. From the start, Daphne tries to be a good mother, but she’s plagued by dark moods and intrusive thoughts that convince her she’s capable of harming her own daughter. When Daphne is diagnosed with Post Partum Mood Disorder, her downward spiral feels unstoppable until she meets Laurel Hobbes.
Laurel, who also has a daughter named Chloe, is everything Daphne isn’t: charismatic, sophisticated, fearless. They immediately form an intense friendship, revealing secrets to one another they thought they’d d never share. Soon, they start to look alike, dress alike, and talk alike, their lives mirroring one another in strange and disturbing ways. But Daphne realizes only too late that being friends with Laurel will come at a very shocking price, one that will ultimately lead her to that towering mansion in the Catskills where terrifying, long-hidden truths will finally be revealed….
Man this was a confusing read but I truly mean that as a compliment, I enjoyed every single page of this compulsive read! The confusion was the interesting kind, you know when you’re reading a book and you know the narrator isn’t reliable? It was that type of read, you’re endlessly questioning the characters, their motivations and their integrity.
Let me elaborate more on the confusion for you guys, this is told mainly from Daphne’s point of view both in a straightforward narrative in the present day and through journal entries from a few months ago. Daphne is a new mom suffering from post partum depression and she joins a support group where she meets Laurel. Their friendship is odd, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why at first, but you know something is off. It only becomes clear later that there are so many issues and backstories. In the present day Daphne is starting a new job working for a writer and the bulk of the novel is set at the authors house which shares grounds with a mental institution. Talk about a creepy and unsettling atmosphere! Combine that with Daphne’s delusions and paranoia and you have the perfect recipe for a highly entertaining page turner.
This was incredibly twisty, therefore difficult to review, especially in terms of the plot, but it was meticulously plotted and extremely well written. This read like a psychological thriller with an edge, it was sophisticated and refined and just so well done. Highly recommended by me!
The Other Mother in three words: Unnerving, Atmospheric and Polished.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.
Photo by Franco Vogt
About Carol Goodman
Carol Goodman is the critically acclaimed author of fourteen novels, including The Lake of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family, and teaches writing and literature at the New School and SUNY New Paltz.