The Other Mothers by M.M. Chouinard
Published: January 20, 2021
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
M.M. Chouinard writes crime fiction that is beautifully crafted. She sprinkles a little bit of herself in her characters, and you will feel how passionate she is from the first paragraph. A brilliant mind, incredible researcher, and delightful human, M.M. Chouinard was destined to be an extraordinary author. She is a modern-day Agatha Christie.
“I don’t see how this can end well, Josette.”
This book finds Jo still trying to process her loss and her confidence in herself. She is just coming off of a two-week leave when Bob calls her about their latest case. A child’s body is discovered outside the schoolyard. Little does Jo know, this case will not only rip open her emotional scars, but it will challenge everything she thought she knew. Will she ever be able to forgive herself? Will she heal from her loss? Will this case unravel her, leaving her a broken emotional wreck?
Holy buckets. This book is beyond brilliant. Yet again. M.M. Chouinard has completely outdone herself. This is the perfect next installment in the Jo Fournier series.
Jo is working on recovering from her loss and injury. She is working on her mental and emotional health, as well as her physical health. She has a great therapist who helps Jo put everything that has happened into perspective and start the journey to processing what happened.
Bob is just as reliable as always, especially considering he is the only one at HQ that knows the whole truth about what happened in that field. He is the only one who knows just how much Jo lost.
There are so many themes in this novel that make it such a brilliant read. We see Jo dealing with her confidence and her trust within herself throughout. Major themes with how she thinks now and how she processes information. Forgiveness is a huge theme. Family dynamics unity, togetherness, the price of love, unconditional love, jealousy, betrayal, mental illness stigma, and healing.
M.M. Chouinard has developed her plot so exceptionally well. Everything flows beautifully, and she brilliantly waves pieces of the previous books throughout Jo’s subconscious that dither links everything together.
We see such a growth in Jo in this book. She is already a robust, smart, capable, motivated female character. But we get to know her in an entirely new way in this book. Not only has M.M. Chouinard painted such a detailed picture of who Jo is as a detective and human, but in this novel, we get insight into Jo’s heart and even further into her head.
The characters in this novel as so detailed and each represents something significant. The tale is sordid, and it’s dark. As the story continues to unfold, we see the spotlight shine on details so small; we question whether they matter or not. But if you have ever read an M.M. Chouinard novel (and you should have read the previous three), you know that no detail is insignificant.
The emotional growth we see in this book is beautiful. Jo, who is so hard on herself, has such a stunning breakthrough in a moment of crisis, and suddenly she sees things with a clarity she has never known.
This is my favorite Jo Fournier novel to date. After reading Her Daughter’s Cry and seeing everything Jo has gone through and the seamless transition into this novel, I am so in love with this character. Self-aware, stubborn, smart, flawed, strong, brave, bold, loyal, and incredibly lovable, Jo leaps off these pages with a whole new depth.
This book focuses so much on Jo and her healing, and I cannot appreciate how Chouinard wrote this. Positive light being shone on therapy and the fact that it works, the power of trusting yourself despite things that have happened in the past, and the beauty in trusting and allowing yourself to be vulnerable in front of those you love the most—the freedom in forgiveness, the complexity of family.
This is another smash hit from the brilliant M.M. Chouinard. This series is such a labor of love. You can feel how deeply these characters are loved. The depth, detail, and dimension they have are out of this world.
I cannot recommend preordering this book enough. This series is beautiful. It has everything you want: excellent writing, fantastic plots, incredible characters, emotional depth, a complexity that grabs you by the throat and won’t let go. This is a series you can read over and over and find things you missed. There are not enough stars to accurately label how genuinely excellent this book is.
I am already ready for book 5!
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Jo Fournier series: