Tag Archives: Fave Reads

Review: Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park
By Katherine Faulkner
Gallery Books, 9781982150310, January 25, 2022, 384pp.

The Short of It:

If you are into page-turners, Greenwich Park should be your next read.

The Rest of It:

Helen and Daniel are expecting a baby. They live in a beautiful house that Helen’s family left to her. Every day Helen realizes how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful home and after several  miscarriages, she is finally looking forward to having a baby boy. Plus, she’s lucky to have her brother Rory and his wife Serena, also pregnant, living close by.

One day, at a pre-natal class she meets another young mother by the name of Rachel. Rachel is a little bit odd. Kind of loud and brash. The father of Rachel’s child isn’t in the picture so when Rachel attempts to make friends with Helen, she reluctantly gives in, feeling a little sorry for the girl. Lunch here and there. Tea. It isn’t such a horrible ask until Rachel shows up with bruises around her neck and asks to live with Helen and Daniel.

Daniel is immediately put off by the request but Helen, fearing for the girl’s safety, allows her to stay for a day or two. What is this girl’s story? Who is hurting her? What does she do in her free time? She has plenty of money but doesn’t appear to have any kind of job.

As Helen’s due date approaches, the mystery ramps up and the tension runs high as Helen tries to figure out a way to get rid of Rachel without hurting the girl’s feelings.

What Helen doesn’t realize is that none of this is accidental.

Oh, I love a book that gives you a reason to forgot all household duties. Dinner? Nah. I gotta get back to my book. Laundry? Only if I can read in-between loads. I RACED through this one. Actually, I tried to read it a long time ago and put it down for something but when I picked it up again this past week I flew through it. I highly recommend it.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The School for Good Mothers

The School for Good Mothers

The School for Good Mothers
By Jessamine Chan
Simon & Schuster, 9781982156121, January 4, 2022, 336pp.

The Short of It:

Loved this weird, quirky story about motherhood.

The Rest of It:

Frida leaves her toddler alone for a few hours and is reported to the authorities. Already struggling with her husband Gust leaving her for a younger woman, not able to find a career worthy or important enough to impress her parents, losing her child is the perfect ending to a very bad day.

But all is not lost because she has been sentenced to The School for Good Mothers. This school focuses on the basics of childcare, but gently builds to more complicated matters such as discipline, intent, empathy and the all important eye-contact and inflection and tone. And how is this accomplished? By assigning a life-like robot, or “doll” to each mother. One that requires the constant monitoring of the blue viscous goo that keeps them running. Failing to notice a rise in temperature, failure to change the doll’s fluid regularly, results in the loss of privileges such as phone calls home to her actual daughter, Harriet.

Frida, like most of the mothers in this school struggle with the idea of taking on a doll as their child. Let me tell you, these things are life-like and feel things. They express frustration and pain and it’s all recorded by the teachers and observers assigned to each mother. Data collection rarely points to the positives, but instead focuses on the one time Frida pinches her doll, leaving a permanent mark upon her form. The pressure to do well is palpable. Frida’s only goal is to get through it so she can get Harriet back but as she continues to lose her privileges, Harriet becomes more of a stranger as contact diminishes.

This was a surprise read for me. I am not sure what I expected but robotic dolls wasn’t it and yet I ate it up. Every word. It’s a strange story and very futuristic but if you compare it to today’s world, mothers are often given the short end of the stick when it comes to childcare. I really enjoyed Chan’s skill in regards to taking a reader through this experience without casting judgment on the parenting choices made.

Highly recommend but it isn’t a story to leave you all warm and fuzzy. It’s a little cold and sterile but I tend to like these kinds of reads.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.