Between a Mother and her Child [NOOK Book]


The love of a family is stronger than even the greatest tragedy . . .

Twenty years after their impulsive marriage, Maggie and Bill Barrett are happily settled into the quiet comfort of their dream home with their three beautiful children. Then, the day after Christmas 2004, their world is shattered apart.

Feeling isolated, Bill leaves to try to discover peace on his own. ...
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Between a Mother and her Child

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The love of a family is stronger than even the greatest tragedy . . .

Twenty years after their impulsive marriage, Maggie and Bill Barrett are happily settled into the quiet comfort of their dream home with their three beautiful children. Then, the day after Christmas 2004, their world is shattered apart.

Feeling isolated, Bill leaves to try to discover peace on his own. Maggie shuts down, incapable of connecting with her children or even sleeping most nights. Getting by in a daze, she has no idea how to begin picking up the pieces of their lives.

Enter Kate: a woman who placed an ad in the paper to be a housekeeper and companion to a family. Kate has secrets and sorrows of her own, but her gentle caring has an immediate effect on the children—and on Maggie herself. When Bill announces that he’s fallen for another woman, Maggie realizes that she will have to fight to put her family back together. But after all they’ve been through, can anything truly fix their broken ties?
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  • Between A Mother and Her Child
    Between A Mother and Her Child  

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Devastated from the death of their oldest son, Jake, killed in the 2004 tsunami while traveling on a gap year in Asia, the members of the Barrett family cope with the sudden tragedy in different but similarly isolated ways. Bill confronts his son's death by visiting Thailand, where Jake died. A once creatively vibrant mother of three, Maggie retreats into herself, relying on emotional help from her younger sister Olivia. Teenaged Aly throws herself into schoolwork. Too young to have known his older brother well, Stan is more impacted by the actions of his family. When Bill moves out, then meets another woman at his grief counseling group, Maggie must learn to cope with even more change and further emotional repercussions. Worried for her sister, Olivia convinces Maggie to hire an elderly housekeeper named Kate. Leaning on Kate's patience and wisdom, the family finally begin to show signs of recovery. VERDICT British author Noble (The Reading Group; The Friendship Test) vividly and sensitively explores family relationships in the midst of a crisis and its aftermath. A London Times best seller and a "Richard and Judy Pick," this emotionally compelling and absorbing tale of a family dealing with grief and change will resonate with readers of thoughtful domestic fiction.—Joy Gunn, Paseo Verde Lib., Henderson, NV
From the Publisher
"How does a family travel the most painful journey imaginable? In this poignant story of rebirth and abiding family love, Elizabeth Noble gently  takes us down a path of friendship, understanding and compassion. Her beautifully drawn characters are as tender and big-hearted as they are unforgettable."—Diane Chamberlain, author of Necessary Lies

“An intense, emotional exploration of the devastating effects of grief on a family . . . Noble unfailingly creates beautifully drawn characters you can’t help but love, inhabiting a tightly plotted narrative that will keep you gripped from start to finish.”—Daily Mail Online

“Elizabeth Noble has made a name for herself writing tear-jerking blockbusters, and her fans won’t be disappointed by her latest offering. . . Noble paints a convincing and acute picture of the isolation and even the selfishness of loss.”—Express Online (UK)

“A remarkable narrative that will captivate and ensnare the reader, while fully engaging the emotions. . . A delicate and well-executed treatise that will have the reader utterly transfixed by the characters and their emotional journeys.”—Sunshine Coast Daily

Kirkus Reviews
A work of fiction based on the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. British author Noble weaves multiple narrative threads into the family saga. Maggie, an Australian girl, gives up her Olympic dream to marry Bill, a British boy traveling around the Pacific, when she discovers she is pregnant. Maggie leaves her beloved sister, Olivia, in Australia to move to England with Bill. After their beloved child, Jake, is born, they have two more children: a daughter, Aly, and a son with special needs, Stan. When Jake, with his father's encouragement, decides to take a year to travel the Pacific Rim countries with friends before attending university, his family is happy for him. But then he dies on a beach during a tsunami, leaving the family devastated. Maggie and Bill subsequently grow apart. Then, Bill meets a young widow, Carrie, in a grief support group, and they fall in love. Olivia, herself involved with someone, comes to England to help her older sister. Enter Kate, a woman hired to act as caregiver to a now fractured family. Naturally, Kate has a story all her own. Sacrificed dreams and buried feelings collide in this U.K. best-seller.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101623701
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 217,318
  • File size: 986 KB

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Noble

International bestselling author Elizabeth Noble was born in High Wycombe, Bucks, and now lives in Surrey, England with her husband and two daughters. She studied English at Oxford University and after graduating embarked on a career in publishing before taking up writing full time. She is the author of seven novels.


Elizabeth Noble was born in December 1968, in Buckinghamshire, England. She was educated in England and Canada, where the family lived for several years in Toronto.

In 1990 she graduated from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, with a B.A. (Honors) in English language and literature. But it was the diploma (Intensive Secretarial) that she was awarded by the typing school above the Italian café in Covent Garden that got her into her chosen career -- publishing. Over a six year period she worked in the editorial, marketing, publicity, and sales departments of several big publishing houses -- moving every couple of years, once she had made a big enough mess in the filing (note to bewildered successors: check under "m" for miscellaneous). This makes her a tricky author. She speaks fluent publishing.

She took a career break -- she called it "retired" -- to have her two daughters, after her marriage in 1996. When her youngest daughter was ready to go to nursery school, and real work beckoned, she decided to try what she had been threatening to do for years, and wrote a hundred pages of The Reading Group.

Then it took her nine months to work up the courage to send it to an agent. The Reading Group was published in the UK in January 2004 and went straight to the number-one position in The Sunday Times's Fiction Bestseller list. She was supposed to be signing stock in London bookshops the day the chart was announced, but she had grown bored and was trying on trousers -- they didn't fit -- in a ladies' clothing store when the call came. So she was literally caught with her pants down.

The book has since sold almost a quarter of a million copies in the UK. But the other day her elder daughter, Tallulah, told her she would rather she got a job in a chicken plucking factory because then she would be at home more, so she doesn't think there is much danger of her getting conceited.

She has recently finished her second novel -- there were no vacancies at the chicken plucking factory -- and begun her third.

She lives with her husband and their ungrateful children in a haunted vicarage in "the safest village in Surrey," England. They obviously don't know about the ghost.

Biography courtesy of the author's official web site.

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Elizabeth Noble:

"Researching my novels has changed my life. This year alone, in the name of research, I have abseiled 100 feet off of a viaduct, learnt how to gamble, and danced on stage in a Las Vegas show. At the ripe old age of 36, I've finally realized that you are only here once, and I'm never going to say no to a new experience again (so long as its legal!)."

"I am perpetually engaged in a quest to be thinner, fitter, have better hair, and look more stylish. I'm usually losing."

"Each morning, I pump up the volume on the stereo and dance about the living room with my five- and seven-year-old daughters. It's the best ten minutes of every day."

"I am incredibly close to my parents and siblings. We have gone in very different directions -- my brother teaches mathematics in France, and my sister is a midwife -- but we all have a strong sense of family."

"My friends are hugely important to me, and spending time with them is a precious part of my life."

"I like chocolate, floral white wines, cinema, and being lazy. I love U.S. import TV -- Sex and the City, The West Wing, Desperate Housewives, and Six Feet Under (God bless HBO!)."

"I dislike almost all politicians, pushy parents, and bad manners. And I hate, hate, hate cell phones, and the fact that they mean you can never be ‘unavailable.' "

"I unwind in a hot bath with a big glass of wine, and my ultimate luxury would be 12 hours sleep a night (but my children do not agree)."

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    1. Hometown:
      Wonersh, Guildford, Surrey, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 22, 1968
    2. Place of Birth:
      High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England
    1. Education:
      B.A., St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, 1990
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    There is no deeper love than that between a mother and child and

    There is no deeper love than that between a mother and child and there is no greater loss than that experienced by a parent who has lost that beloved child to death.  The life of Maggie and Bill Barrett changed irrevocably the day their son, Jake who died in the tsunami of Indonesia in 2004. Bill chooses to grieve in a totally different  way from Maggie, and their daughter Aly.  But Maggie senses that Aly is drawing farther and farther away from her. Yes she excels in her school work and is planning to go to med school but she’s like a taught spring ready to lash out and Maggie doesn’t have a clue about Aly’s grief and how she perceives the time since that momentous day that forever altered their lives.
    Maggie asks Bill to leave and he begins to move on with his life which includes meeting a women with whom he is developing a loving relationship, different  though it is from what Maggie and Bill once had.  Maggie, on the other hand, relies totally on her emotional connection with her sister Livy or Liv, who lives in Australia and now on another anniversary of Jake’s death visits Maggie in England.  But Liv’s life is about to change as she will soon marry Scott. She would do anything for her sister but can she be as available to Maggie’s needs and should she be.   And Aly will meet someone special too, a surprise to the reader, the outcome which is unique and very real!
    Liv comes up with a potential solution that is also unique, placing an ad for a companion for Maggie.  Kate seems to be the ideal person for this painful and burdened household, yet she has issues of her own that slowly become obvious due to Aly’s curiosity and the action that flows from her need to know.  This is a subplot that arrives at the perfect place in this poignant story.  There are, it turns out, many ways to lose a child besides death.
    While this book does have some very sorrowful moments, for the most part there is a healthy mixture of tension, laughter, relief, release and more that is so engaging and keeps the reader glued to the pages.  The author clearly “knows” the emotional and mental map of losing a child and how the survival mode and more than survival mode can regress or progress.  Whether the reader knows or doesn’t know is irrelevant; this novel is lovingly and carefully crafted, unforgettable!  It deserves a wide, wide audience!  Well done, indeed, Ms. Noble!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2014

    good read

    Loved this story!!!

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  • Posted September 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    BETWEEN A MOTHER AND HER CHILD by Elizabeth Noble is a poignant

    BETWEEN A MOTHER AND HER CHILD by Elizabeth Noble is a poignant Women's Fiction. It is based on the December 26,2004 Indonesian Tsunami where over 100,000 people died, including Jake Barrett,Maggie and Bill Barrett's eldest son. Ms. Noble brings to life the story of family,grief,loss,love and putting a family's life back together after losing a child. An emotional,compelling and heart-wrenching tale of a family's tragedy and grief. You will need tissues, be forewarned! Is the old adage time heals all wounds, you will need to pick up "Between a Mother and Her Child" to learn more on this story of courage,faith, and love. Ms. Noble is a masterful storyteller! Received for an honest review from the publisher.

    RATING: 4


    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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  • Posted September 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    It is no wonder Elizabeth Noble has a status of International Be

    It is no wonder Elizabeth Noble has a status of International Best Seller. She has taken the vitally important topic of loss and has delivered an exceptionally beautiful story through its premise. The foundation is laid early on in the book: the reality of pain that is the constant aftermath in the wake of death and loss. Ms. Noble has the option to spin a maudlin tale of woe and darkness; yet in Between a Mother and Her Child, she has chosen the path of having despair take a back seat to the promise of hope and healing. The substance and character she portrays in both main characters, Maggie Barrett and Kate Miller, is outstanding. They are credible women who have endured more than a fair amount of sadness and sorrow; yet their respective sublime tenacity to forge forward is ever present. Ms. Noble has impeccable timing and tone and keeps the pace alive and moving forward with the right balance and blending of her secondary characters (and their respective challenges). Never once did I feel the weight of ‘having’ to turn a page. Rather, I looked forward to not only turning each page, but the wonder of ‘what next’ in the chapter ahead. Well done Ms. Noble!

    Quill says: Between a Mother and Her Child delivers a profound message of recognizing the importance of living each day to its fullest and embracing each memory in the moment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

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