Blog Tour/Book Review: A Mother Like Mine by Kate Hewitt

About A Mother Like Mine

Paperback: 384 pages

Publisher: Berkley (August 8, 2017)

Welcome to England’s beautiful Lake District, where a reluctant reunion forges a new bond between a daughter and her wayward mother….
 
Abby Rhodes is just starting to get her life on track. After her fiancé’s unexpected death, she returned with her young son to the small village where she grew up and threw herself into helping her ailing grandmother run the town’s beach café. Then one evening, her mother, Laura, shows up in Hartley-by-the-Sea and announces her plan to stay. After twenty years away, she now wants to focus on the future—and has no intention, it seems, of revisiting the painful past.

Laura Rhodes has made a lot of mistakes, and many of them concern her daughter. But as Abby gets little glimpses into her mother’s life, she begins to realize there are depths to Laura she never knew. Slowly, Abby and Laura start making tentative steps toward each other, only to have life become even more complicated when an unexpected tragedy arises. Together, the two women will discover truths both sad and surprising that draw them closer to a new understanding of what it means to truly forgive someone you love.

“With lush coastal imagery and well-drawn characters, Hewitt immerses the reader in the deeply personal struggles and triumphs of Rachel and Claire. At turns introspective and exhilarating, this novel proves that it’s never too late to start over.”—Booklist

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About Kate Hewitt

Kate Hewitt is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty books, including the Hartley-by-the-Sea novels Rainy Day Sisters and Now and Then Friends, and more recently, the Willoughby Close series. A former New Yorker, she now lives in Wales with her husband five children. She also writes as Katharine Swartz.

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My Review

 

Mother/daughter relationships can be wonderful. I still maintain that I have the best mother in the world. I am blessed. But what if the word mother conjures up less than wonderful images? What if the word only brings up feelings of anger and resentment? Take Abby, for instance. Her mother abandons her when she is two years old. What kind of mother would do that? In Abby’s mind there is no reason good enough to explain a mother walking away from her child.

Abby Rhodes (Remind you of the title of a Beatles’ album? The spelling is different, but the first time I read her name in this novel it conjured up the image of the Fab Four crossing the street, wearing tuxedos and walking barefoot.) returns to Hartley-by-the-Sea in the Cumbria region of England with her small son, Noah, in tow. He fiance has died and Abby has to drop out of college. With her hopes dashed and no money, she returns to the only home she knows, the home where she was raised by her grandmother when her own mother flew the coop for broader and more exciting horizons. Abby settles in and helps her ailing grandmother run their beach front cafe. This is not how Abby dreamed her life would be. Yet, it is predictable, safe and peaceful.

Two years later, Abby’s peaceful life is shattered when her mother, Laura, shows up after a 20 year absence and announces that she intends to stay. What’s worse is that she will be living in the same small flat with Abby, Noah, and Grandmother. If she thinks she can just waltz back into Abby’s life and play mother after all this time, she’s got another thing coming. Abby can’t bring herself to use the word mother when it comes to Laura. Abby simply calls her Laura. She does not disguise her feelings of hatred and distrust for this woman who walks back into her life.

Laura is everything that Abby is not. High-falutin ways, designer clothing, expensive jewelry, and perfectly coiffed hair and manicured nails. At 42, Laura’s style doesn’t fit in with the life of the folks in this small town. Once people see Laura has returned, the gossip mill will run non-stop.

The townsfolk remember when Laura lived there as a child. A child who became pregnant before she turned 16. An unwed pregnant teen was scandalous. And of course, everyone wanted to know who the father was. To make matters worse she kept the baby, but then ran away from Hartley-by-the-Sea leaving her 2 year old daughter behind. Those who remember her are sure that the only reason Laura is back is because the bottom fell out of her fancy lifestyle. What other reason is there for the return of the town’s runaway?

The interactions between the two women are tense, uncomfortable, and fraught with snippy attitudes and sharp tongues. Abby is not willing to give Laura a chance, and Laura is not the most patient person. She realizes that getting along with Abby is going to be a lot tougher than she thought. Is it really going to be worth the effort? She has a nest egg and could start over somewhere else.

When an unexpected tragedy occurs life becomes even more complicated. How will the two women handle it? It could be a catalyst in bringing them closer together or it could make the chasm between them even bigger. I don’t want to give away any spoilers. In order to discover the secrets that have made Abby and Laura the people that they are, and to find out what the tragedy is and its outcome, you are going to need to read the book.

PS – I could not figure out who Abby’s father was. The identity is revealed, but I’m not telling. I will admit that it was not who I would have expected.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to read this book. Kate Hewitt is a USA Today best-selling author and had written two more novels set in the fictional town of Hartley-by-the-Sea: Rainy Day Sisters and Now and Then Friends.

Happy Reading!!

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