A Good Enough Mother: Book summary and reviews of A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas

A Good Enough Mother

by Bev Thomas

A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas X
A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2019
    352 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

A riveting page-turner that lets us inside the secret world of therapist and patient, where boundaries get crossed, and events spiral out of control...

Ruth Hartland is a psychotherapist with years of experience. But professional skill is no guard against private grief. The mother of grown twins, she is haunted by the fact that her beautiful, difficult, fragile son Tom, a boy who never "fit in," disappeared a year and a half earlier. She cannot give up hope of finding him, but feels she is living a kind of half-life, waiting for him to return.

Enter a new patient, Dan--unstable and traumatized--who looks exactly like her missing son. She is determined to help him, but soon, her own complicated feelings, about how she has failed her own boy, cloud her professional judgement. And before long, the unthinkable becomes a shattering reality....

An utterly compelling drama with a timebomb at its core, A Good Enough Mother is a brilliant, beautiful story of mothering, and how to let go of the ones we love when we must.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [An] exceptional debut... Thomas melds astute psychological insight with powerful storytelling in this moving thriller." - Publishers Weekly

"A compelling, ingenious novel about grief, love, the healing process, and what it means to mother... Perfect for fans of psychological fiction, in particular Alex Michaelides The Silent Patient." - Booklist

"A suspenseful and emotionally stirring debut." - Kirkus Reviews

"A Good Enough Mother is not just everything a great thriller should be—haunting, emotional, charged with depth and power—it is also a gorgeous and devastating examination of motherhood that cuts right to the heart." - Aimee Molloy, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Mother

"Taut, absorbing and psychologically astute, in A Good Enough Mother Bev Thomas combines all the tension of a thriller with the emotional resonance of a powerful family drama." - Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

"This powerful story of love, loss--and ultimately, healing--will resonate with anyone who has ever loved a child." - Kim Edwards, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter

"The suspense is raw and enthralling, with a strong emotional ache at its center." - Hilma Wolitzer, author of An Available Man

"Both a riveting account of what goes on behind the scenes at your therapist's office and a dark meditation on motherhood, marriage and grief. I couldn't put it down." - Lisa Gabriele, author of The Winters

"Packs an emotional punch and is a gripping, original read. It is a novel full of loss and longing and the complexities of human relationships. - Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

"A beautiful, compelling book about the hopes and terrors of motherhood. You'll stay up reading way too late, desperate to find out what happens next ... and even when you manage to put the book down, Ruth's story will haunt you." - Gin Phillips, author of Fierce Kingdom

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Reader Reviews

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Betty Taylor

Crossing of Boundaries
This is the story of Ruth Hartland, a psychotherapist, who is grieving the loss of one of her twins. Carolyn and Tom were born 28 minutes apart. Tom always seemed fragile and had difficulty “fitting in”. Eighteen months prior to the start of this story Tom has disappeared. Now Ruth lives each day awaiting his return. Then one day she encounters a new patient, Dan, who looks just like Tom. She knows she should assign him to another therapist as she has such a strong personal reaction upon the sight of him. However, she impulsively decides to keep him as one of her cases. The complicated relationship that develops between this therapist and this patient soon gets out of control.

I just could not get into this book. Having trained as a therapist myself it was difficult for me to accept the many boundaries Ruth crosses. I know it makes for good reading but it disturbed me.

The book is well written and provides a truly emotional impact. It is obvious the writer did a lot of research. It also realistically portrays the human side of therapists. They are not perfect, and they too have emotional issues that can be triggered by their patients. I am sure many will love this book, but I can’t say I do.

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Author Information

Bev Thomas

Bev Thomas was a clinical psychologist in the National Health Service for many years. She currently works as an organizational consultant in mental health and other services. She lives in London with her family.

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