BookBrowse Reviews The Book of Mother by Violaine Huisman

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The Book of Mother

A Novel

by Violaine Huisman

The Book of Mother by Violaine Huisman X
The Book of Mother by Violaine Huisman
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Oct 2021, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Callum McLaughlin
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Inspired heavily by the author's experiences, this emotionally charged debut chronicles the volatile life of a remarkable woman, and the fraught yet beautiful bond she shares with her daughters.

Fictionalizing the life of author Violaine Huisman's own mother, this debut novel is split into three distinct sections. The first is arguably the strongest, opening with matriarch Catherine's hospitalization following a nervous breakdown. Narrated from the perspective of her youngest daughter (a representation of Huisman herself), we see a series of anecdotal snapshots detailing Catherine's erratic behavior throughout her daughters' childhood and her gradual descent into the grips of bipolar depression, alcoholism and drug addiction. The non-linear timeline in this section reflects the meandering nature of memory, as Catherine's daughter paints a portrait of a mother as enigmatic and passionate as she is chaotic and careless.

The second section takes us back to Catherine's own childhood, walking us through the chronology of her life up to the point of her breakdown. Though the gut-...

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