A whispering voice at the back of my mind reminds me that I’ve been this way for some time. Dead, that is.
The dead have a very broad view of the living, of actions performed out of sight, of thoughts believed to be private. I would know. Losing both parents is a trial no child should endure, and Marina and Dylan have endured enough. They deserve the one thing I could never give them: a mother’s love.
A mother’s love, and the truth.
My children have believed a lie about me for years and years. After all this time I can still feel their hurt in my heart. But the tether holding me to them is frayed from years of neglect . . . and I have to find a way to make my confession before it snaps.
But when the truth comes out, what other beasts will I unleash?
“Why do we lie to the children?” someone asked me once.
“To protect them,” I answered.
How terrible it is that they need protection from me.
Where do I start this review about Erin Healy’s newest novel? New mother Misty disappeared 16 years ago. Her body was never found, but it’s presumed she killed herself at a notorious stretch of California’s Pacific coast. Now, her husband’s vehicle has plunged into the foundations of a building project and their two children must figure out how to survive life without either parent. Marina is 20 and the fierce protector of her agoraphobic 16 year old brother. While going through family documents, they come across photographs that make them wonder if their mother could possibly still be alive.
The siblings’ actions are viewed through the eyes of a supernatural being, a being that can ‘transport’ from place to place, but cannot move through walls. This being has watched over Marina and Dylan for years. Not only are the siblings observed, but also a chocolatier named Sara and her vintner friend and colleague, Ian. I found this perspective weird, but it wasn’t weird enough to stop reading. In fact, I found it strangely compelling. Then, something happened that turned everything I thought I knew on its head.
Motherless is a powerful book that left me stunned and in tears. I knew before the end that I would have to re-read it. My presumptions kept changing as the narrative developed and yet I was unable to solve the mystery before it was revealed. Motherless is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Tiffany Ballard of Shelton Interactive for my complimentary electronic copy of Motherless, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read Motherless? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 28 October 2014
Page Count: 368