I can’t remember the last time I read the final paragraph of a novel and then immediately turned back to the first chapter and started reading all over again. But that’s what I did with Motherlove by Thorne Moore. I loved this book – I mean I really loved it!
Where do I start? I suppose, firstly, I should say how much I admired the author’s style of writing: the pace is fast but steady, moving seamlessly from one scene to the next. The language, the metaphors, the clever mix of sentence lengths, all draw out the tension of this heart-breaking story. And keep the reader gripped and having empathy for each of the characters
My favourite genres are family sagas and thrillers/ mystery novels. Motherlove is contemporary fiction but holds both these genres within its pages, together with a psychological theme cleverly woven throughout. The title says it all; there are many ways to be a mother, a myriad of ways to show the love that comes with that label. I think this novel reveals the diversity of those ways.
Best of all, for me, the story is written from various points of views, each chapter, subtly and gradually revealing each of the characters; three mothers and two daughters, whose lives are initially inexplicably linked by a dreadful incident in the past.
An incident I won’t reveal here; I don’t like giving spoils in my reviews. And, anyway, the reader is plunged in straight from the beginning, so why spoil things?
But I can speak, briefly, from a constructive criticism point of view.
The intricate plot is skilfully threaded with a number of sub-plots, all intriguing, all necessary to the story..
The descriptions of the settings, from rural Wales to the streets and buildings of a run-down town to a soulless council estate, are subtly drawn and provide a poignant backdrop throughout the two decades that the book travels through, and reveals the social and cultural milieu of these eras.
The characters are strongly drawn to elicit emotions in the reader; from sympathy to fear, to distress, to hatred, to horror, to empathetic understanding.
Both the internal and spoken dialogue cleverly reveals each character, with their different nuances. There is never any doubt whose perspective we are reading.
Anyone who has read Thorne Moore’s first novel A Time For Silence and have been waiting with anticipation for her next, won’t be disappointed; Motherlove is a brilliant successor and if I could give more than five stars for this novel, I would.
I don’t only want to recommend Motherlove; I urge all those who enjoy excellent contemporary fiction to find a copy of this novel. And submerge themselves in it.