Book Review: My Mother’s Secret by Julia Roberts

Caring for a sick mother is difficult at the best of times. Imagine how it feels when you know that mother never really wanted you. Can Danni make amends with her mother once she knows the reason for her frostiness? This next book explores that relationship.

Goodreads Blurb

My Mother’s Secret by Julia Roberts

‘They told me he died, but I never believed them. I’d have known,’ she says, her voice little more than a whisper and her eyes searching mine. ‘A mother would know if her child died, wouldn’t she?’

The phone call comes in the middle of the night, rousing Danni from her safe, warm bed. The police have found her mother Diana wandering along the main road, miles from her house, confused and lost.

Danni races to her mother’s side, but when she arrives, as always, her mother doesn’t seem to care. ‘Go away, Danni,’ she says. ‘I don’t want you.

When she was a child, Danni would lie awake at night wondering what she had done to make her mother so cold. Now she is determined to put the past behind them and make Diana as happy as she can in the time they have left.

But as some of Diana’s memories are slipping away, others are forcing their way to the surface. One night Diana breaks down in tears and reveals her heartbreaking secret. Years before Danni was born, there was another baby who never got to see the world. Now there is one last thing Danni can do for her mother. She will find her brother’s resting place, and bring Diana some peace.

But good intentions can have unexpected consequences, and soon Danni’s life will be changed forever. Are some secrets best left buried?

A completely heartbreaking and compelling story of families, secrets, and the fierce love between mothers and children. Fans of Amanda Prowse, Ali Mercer and Jodi Picoult will smile through their tears.

My Mother's Secret Book Cover

Book Review

My Mother’s Secret is a totally emotional story so come prepared with tissues! The author delves into some deep topics – dementia, cancer, a stillbirth – but does so with a deep respect for the situation and anybody who might have found themselves in the same position. However, don’t expect insight into the medical side of these topics. This story is completely about how a mother and daughter battle through these events while trying to salvage a relationship that’s always been broken.

It was very interesting to follow Diana and Danni’s relationship. It’s a bit different from similar relationships I’ve encountered in the past as Danni is a very forgiving and caring figure. It doesn’t have the big bust-ups that I would have expected a story like this to have. I still haven’t made up my mind if I missed the drama in My Mother’s Secret or not. There certainly are some juicy bits within the pages of this book and there is a great plot development, it’s just that things move a tad too slow and no “action” really occurs until the end. One other gripe I had was that I found the writing to be quite passive. There were many times when the narrative told us what happened rather than leave the plot to unfold in front of our eyes. A change in tact could possibly have added the more dramatic scenes some of us readers yearn for.

But, as I said, this story is really about a mother-daughter relationship, specifically a strained relationship, and how to aim to co-exist in the face of diversity. When it comes to laying out the emotion of this journey to us, the author gets top marks.

While it didn’t have all the elements I was hoping for, I enjoyed the emotion that My Mother’s Secret instilled in my. If you are looking for a book that will move you, pick up My Mother’s Secret here.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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