Review: ‘The Mother’s Secret’, by Clare Swatman


Published By: Macmillan

Publication Date: 22nd February 2018

Format: Paperback

I.S.B.N.: 97815098248


Price: £7.99






Love keeps us together

Sisters Kate and Georgie have always shared a close bond. While Kate enjoyed the freedoms of youth, Georgie remained at home. But now Georgie is grown up, it’s time she started exploring.

Love can tear us apart

Their mother Jan loves her daughters with all her heart. So what if she kept them out of sight when they were young? She just cared for them so much. She wanted to protect them.

What if your life was based on a lie?

Maybe there was another reason for Jan’s protective behaviour? If they ventured too far afield, it might destroy the facade of their childhood. This family’s about to discover that while lies can cause pain, the truth could destroy them all.

My Review

I received this book as an ARC from the publisher. This review is part of their blog tour for The Mother’s Secret. The blog tour is running from the 8th to 22nd February. I read this book on the 25th January and I’ve been desperately waiting to tell you all about it.

Georgie can’t find her birth certificate. Her mum, Jan, is becoming increasingly erratic, as early onset dementia takes hold. To save Jan from any distress, Georgie arranges for her sister Kate to take Jan out to lunch while she has a look through their mum’s house, their childhood home, for her birth certificate. What she finds, or rather, does not find, hidden in the attic sends her on a search for answers. At the central library in Norwich she finds a clue that leads her on a painful journey. Shaken by her discoveries, Georgie faces a emotional time, navigating family politics while she delves further into the past.

I enjoyed this book. Georgie’s emotional torment felt real, the descriptions of the effects of Alzheimer’s is accurate (when I compare it to the deterioration of people I’ve known with early onset dementia), and the atmosphere of late 1970s Britain is tangible in her descriptions. Everyone old enough to remember the mid eighties probably saw an example of the hideous floral carpet she describes the family having when Kate and Georgie are children. There are lots of flashbacks and alternating between Georgie (present) and her mother’s memories (past) fleshed out the story. It’s a story of tragedy and love that touches the heart.

I started reading it one day but couldn’t settle because I had other things on my mind. When I did settle down to read it a couple of days later, I raced through it in four hours. I was gripped by the search for Georgie’s identity and a resolution to her emotional torment. I’m not normally a reader of books aimed specifically at the ‘women’s fiction’ market, but I liked this one.


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