“An atmospheric and harrowing tale, richly literary in complexity but ripe with all the crazed undertones, confusions, and forebodings inherent in the gothic genre. Recommend this riveting, du Maurier–like novel to fans of Jennifer McMahon.” — Booklist (starred review)
From the author of the internationally bestselling The Lake of Dead Languages comes a gripping novel about madness, motherhood, love, and trust.
When Daphne Marist and her infant daughter, Chloe, pull up the gravel drive to the home of Daphne’s new employer, it feels like they’ve entered a whole new world. Tucked in the Catskills, the stone mansion looks like something out of a fairy tale, its lush landscaping hiding the view of the mental asylum just beyond its border. Daphne secured the live-in position using an assumed name and fake credentials, telling no one that she’s on the run from a controlling husband who has threatened to take her daughter away.
Daphne’s new life is a far cry from the one she had in Westchester where, just months before, she and her husband welcomed little Chloe. From the start, Daphne tries to be a good mother, but she’s plagued by dark moods and intrusive thoughts that convince her she’s capable of harming her own daughter. When Daphne is diagnosed with Post Partum Mood Disorder, her downward spiral feels unstoppable—until she meets Laurel Hobbes.
Laurel, who also has a daughter named Chloe, is everything Daphne isn’t: charismatic, sophisticated, fearless. They immediately form an intense friendship, revealing secrets to one another they thought they’d never share. Soon, they start to look alike, dress alike, and talk alike, their lives mirroring one another in strange and disturbing ways. But Daphne realizes only too late that being friends with Laurel will come at a very shocking price—one that will ultimately lead her to that towering mansion in the Catskills where terrifying, long-hidden truths will finally be revealed....
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Carol Goodman is the critically acclaimed author of fourteen novels, including The Lake of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family, and teaches writing and literature at the New School and SUNY New Paltz.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
'The Other Mother' is a fascinating look from the inside of somebody struggling with mental illness. Full of intrigue and twists along with an unreliable narrator that will keep you guessing what's real and what's not throughout the tale, it captivated me and kept pulling me back each time I put it down. The story of Daphne and Laurel is told, not only by the main character, but also personal journal entries from each of them leading up to the beginning of the book. A third character named Edith also has a surprising story that is woven together with Daphne and Laurel more than you would suspect. The narrative is well-paced, keeping its secrets well, though they aren't impossible to glean if you're looking in the right places. The characters are put together, even when they're mentally falling apart, and you can sympathize with the main character as she goes through an identity crisis brought on by her broken mind and the voices of other people. This book is not for the faint of heart, and those who suffer from Postpartum OCD and perhaps other mental illnesses should be warned of the content, especially from the first person point of view that is offered through the journal entries. However, if you would like to peek into the confusion that is the mind of those with mental disorders and come out with greater respect and clarity of what they go through, I would highly recommend 'The Other Mother.'
This book will have you second guessing everything you read. It’s impossible to put down once you pick it up because every single page has crazy stamped all over it. I’m not even sure I can write this review without giving something away so I am going to keep it brief. Daphne Marist is suffering from postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter Chloe. She joins a support group at the suggestion of her husband Peter, hoping to find other moms struggling with the same issues. There, she meets Lauren, also with a daughter named Chloë. But Lauren is more pulled together and polished. Daphne can’t help but be in awe of her. That is just the beginning of her problems. That’s about all I can say without giving anything away but Goodman knows how to keep you guessing and she does it well. Sometimes these unreliable narrators come off as hokey or not well done but that is not the case here. I’d turn a page and go, “Wait what?” and then have to go back a little to see if my eyes were playing tricks on me. This story is crazy with a capital C but oh so fun to read. Plus, this book can be read in one sitting. Once I picked it up I just kept reading because I had to know how the story would end. This is the perfect book to toss into your beach bag but not if you want to actually pay attention to the gorgeous views because your nose will be in the book the entire time.
Eerie and atmospheric Gothic thriller about motherhood and madness with plenty of twists. Carol Goodman hooked me years ago with her debut, THE LAKE OF DEAD LANGUAGES, about a girls' boarding school and the unsavory things going on there. And then I was mesmerized by THE GHOST ORCHID and still have images from that book lodged in my mind. So when THE OTHER MOTHER (William Morrow, March 27 2018) came to my attention, I knew I had to read it. This one is all about postpartum psychosis, but there's more--it's about identity (mistaken, stolen?), motherhood, trust, love, and so much more. What Goodman excels at here (and perhaps in all her writing) is her ability to create atmosphere. Imagine a milk-white sky, toss in an old stone home with a tower set on a hill overlooking a mental institution, add a mother and child and reclusive author. Got it? See what I mean... THE OTHER MOTHER explores an unsteady marriage--one that has justexperienced the birth of a new baby. It tackles, also, the bond of mothers in a 'new moms' group. Daphne Marist is one of those mothers. So, too is Laurel Hobbes. They both have infant daughters named Chloe. And yet neither one are essentially 'whole.' Both suffer from some form of postpartum depression/psychosis , yet the women are nearly polar opposites--Laurel is wealthy and sophisticated whereas Daphne is a little more bland and straight-laced. Daphne (a former children librarian) is eager to get away from her controlling husband and establish a life on her own. She applies for a new job as an archivist with a famous author, Schuyler Bennett in the Catskills--under Laurel's name and credentials! She gets the job. She takes her baby and together, they help the author, (who also happens to be the daughter of the former medical director/psychiatrist of Crantham Mental Institution), organize old papers and write a memoir. All of this seems fair game, right? But there are head spinning twists and a complex tale folded within these pages.At times, I felt the writing/plot a little confusing,leading not just to 'what happened,' but actual, true 'reader confusion.' I wasn't sure whom (or what) to believe, as everyone is an unreliable narrator. This type of character is usually fun and intriguing for me, but this particular execution made my head a little numb. There are a good number of journal entries from three women and slips in time which make THE OTHER MOTHER a near-historical novel, but I felt frustrated, too. There wasn't one character or situation I felt strongly about one way or another. Plus, I found a good deal of parallels and coincidences that felt a little too contrived; I may be in the minority. Still, I found the concept of THE OTHER MOTHER highly fascinating, and wished the author had gone just a touch deeper in developing the characters (the mood disorder is well done, but the characters themselves felt a little flat). In terms of comps, THE MEDEA COMPLEX (Rachel Florence Roberts) came to mind as did WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND (Ellen Marie Wiseman) and a bit of THE YELLOW WALLPAPER.
The Other Mother by Carol Goodman is a highly recommended Gothic tale of motherhood and madness. Daphne Marist meets her best friend, Laurel Hobbes, at a Westchester support group for new mothers with postpartum depression. The two women both have daughters named Chloe and both are married to controlling older men. They quickly become close friends and soon Daphne is going to Laurel's gym, visiting her hair stylist, and wearing similar clothes. While Laurel seems to suddenly be in a downward spiral, and her husband confides in Daphne that she is mentally ill, Daphne's husband, Peter, seems intent on still questioning her own mental stability and fitness as a parent. Daphne takes her infant daughter, Chloe, and secretly leaves her husband and home. Assuming Laurel's identity and credentials, she accepts a job under Laurel's name as a live-in archivist for Schuyler Bennett, an author whose Catskills' mansion borders the grounds of a psychiatric institution where her father, Dr. Bennett, was once the director. Daphne tells no one her true identity and tries to involve herself in her job while piecing together what has been happening to her and uncovering secrets found in Bennett's papers. The Other Mother is presented in three parts and includes excerpts from several different journals along with Daphne's first-person narrative. Daphne's thoughts clearly make her an unreliable narrator; you can't tell if she is having a mental break with reality or if there is some underhanded plot to make her think she is mentally ill and has lost touch with reality. Clearly, both husbands are controlling jerks, but is Daphne unwell? Goodman presents a very twisty plot of domestic suspense brimming with unreliable narrators, tangled identities, and dark motives where secrets are slowly uncovered. Daphne's character is developed, but since she is also unreliable and suffering from postpartum OCD. She is full of doubt and confusion. The writing is quite good, but the big twist at the end left me shaking my head. And, no spoilers, but there is a certain point where I kept thinking a very simple blood test should have been done and would have answered a vital question. 3.5 Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.
The Other Mother is an intense psychological thriller. It’s confusing and disturbing, but fascinating. Nothing in this book is what it appears to be. There are many twists and surprises throughout the novel. All the pieces, though, do come together in the end. Daphne Marist and Laurel Hobbs met in a support group for women suffering from intrusive thoughts and postpartum psychosis/depression. The two women became fast friends, confiding in one another their deepest thoughts and fears. Laurel encouraged Daphne to sharpen her appearance. Daphne readily agreed and changed her hairstyle, clothes, accessories, and behavior, to match her new, more confident friend, Laurel Hobbs. Their intense friendship, however, crumbled. Did their husbands sabotage it, or did they break it themselves? When Daphne’s life began to spin out of control, she split from her husband and took infant Chloe with her. Daphne headed for the Catskills where a job awaited her. She started her new life under the assumed name, Laurel Hobbs. It was there, however, where Daphne’s chaotic world turned into a never-ending nightmare. A world where layers of deceit and betrayals were exposed. The Other Mother is a cleverly crafted thriller, where cunning characters come to life. A word of caution to the reader, Postpartum Psychosis/Depression, Intrusive Thoughts, suicide and Borderline Personality, are addressed in this intriguing, dark novel. Thank you, William Morrow Publishing and Edelweiss, for my advanced review copy.