Such a Good Mother by Helen Monks Takhar

Published: August 2, 2022

Random House

Pages: 354

Genre: Thriller

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Helen Monks Takhar worked as a journalist, copywriter, and magazine editor, having graduated from Cambridge in 1997. She began her career writing for financial trade newspapers in 1999 before contributing to UK national newspapers, including The Times and The Observer. Born in Southport, Merseyside, in 1976, she lives in North London with her husband and two daughters.

Rose O’Connell is barely surviving. Her marriage is rocky; her son isn’t fitting in at his new school, the prestigious Woolf Academy; and their tiny apartment in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood can barely contain her family. As she struggles to make ends meet on her junior bank teller wages, Rose finds that life as the only mom in a name tag and uniform at the Woolf’s shiny school gates isn’t easy.

Not so for those in the elite and secretive Circle—a tight-knit group of wealthy mothers, led by the charismatic and glamorous Amala Kaur—who rule the school. When the mysterious death of one of the Circle’s members creates a vacancy, Rose dares to hope she could fill it and transform her life.

Amala’s shocking decision to invite Rose into her clique provokes resentment among the Circle, especially when her fortunes, self-esteem, and status start to soar. But Rose soon realizes the true price of being on the inside. Far from being a dream come true, the Circle proves her worst nightmare. Unlike the woman she replaced, can Rose escape with her life?

“Magis et Magis.”

Rose has not always lived a healthy and safe life. Her father was a talented con artist who wouldn’t hesitate to make his daughter participate in a con if it meant succeeding. Now, as an adult, Rose wants her young son to have every opportunity life offers. So when the chance to enroll him in a prestigious school occurs, Rose doesn’t hesitate. She also doesn’t realize she may not survive meeting the other hardworking mothers.

HOLY BUCKETS. This was intense. I devoured this novel in hours. I could not put it down. Just when I thought things couldn’t possibly get more complicated, that did.

I liked Rose. She was a significant lead. I enjoyed how she was presented and how she played the game. Amala was also a great character. She was just as intelligent, determined, hardworking, devoted, and passionate as Rose.

Though, they two seemingly lived in different worlds. I loved the themes in this novel. The concept of privilege and hierarchy that comes along with it. The balance between rich and poor, opportunity and destitution.

The game was set and played by absolute players. As much as I hate women being pitted against each other, the portrayal was accurate and intense. There was a very dramatic “Mean Girls” element to this book.

Fast-paced and full of twists you never expect, the last several chapters will give you whiplash and leave your eyeballs tired from flying along the pages. An excellent thriller about the lengths a mother will go to for the health, happiness, wellbeing, and safety of her child.

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