Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book to Watch for: Mothers and Other Liars by Amy Bourret

This August, St. Martin's Griffin is releasing a first novel from an author who's sure to be one to watch. Mothers and Other Liars is the story of a young woman—Ruby—who discovers an abandoned baby at a road side rest stop and makes a snap decision: she takes the baby. While that might seem like story enough in itself, it's really just the setup, because the real focus in this novel is on what happens almost ten years later when Ruby reads a news story about parents looking for a baby who wasn't abandoned by an unloving family (as Ruby assumed), but by carjackers who had kidnapped the child.

It's a book that's just starting to gain some buzz: a mix of compelling characters and family crisis that's sure to have readers developing a strong emotional reaction to it. I discovered the title through a Library Journal review, which said "Bourret nails the character development and pacing that make a good novel compelling. She unfolds her well-written, dramatic story in tidbits that will make readers hungry for more. Perfect for summer reading".

Library Journal also made the observation that this new title sounds like the sort of material that will appeal to fans of Jodi Picoult—currently I think the reigning queen of the family drama.

For me, the story sounds like a good suggestion for those who enjoyed another debut novel (?) from a year or so ago Kim Edwards' The Memory Keeper's Daughter. In that story, a nurse is present for the birth of twins, one of whom suffers from Down's Syndrome. Rather than take the child to an institution as instructed by the father, the nurse takes the child and raises it as her own. Like Mothers and Other Liars, Edwards' book raises questions about the role of parents and what it means to be part of a family.

If you like Picoult and Edwards' book, then Jacqueline Mitchard is another author you might want to pick up this summer. Like Picoult, Mitchard writes fiction that frequently focuses on family turmoil. Her well known novel The Deep End of the Ocean told the story of a family torn apart by the disappearance of a child. In 2009, Mitchard released No Time to Wave Goodbye, which revisited the same family 22 years later. Both stories are gripping accounts of families dealing with unthinkable hardship.

1 comment:

  1. Another Canadian book with a similar plot is Betty Jane Hegerat's new one - "Delivery".