I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Reluctant Mother by Hemmie Martin
Published by Winter Goose Publishing on June 7, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Suspense Fiction
Buy on Amazon
Postnatal psychosis strips Colette of her early time with her baby, shreds her sanity, and almost destroys her marriage. When suicide seems the only option, Colette must face her limitations and move forward with demons clinging to every aspect of her life, whilst desperately trying to hold on to what she dearly loves.
The Reluctant Mother. How many times is this a glaring foghorn in many women’s lives? This story was a bit of a throwback for me personally. I didn’t suffer with Post-Partum Psychosis but quite severe PND with my first child. I was a brand-new mother at the tender age of nineteen and was now faced with the reality of a disabled son. It was raw and grieving to a point and unfortunately the bonding wasn’t as immediate as I had hoped. The story is raw and slow – paced but it is everything that it needs to be. It’s 369 pages of pain and misguided mistakes.
A mother. The image instantly sparks a scene of an ethereal being that juggles an amazing amount of tasks each day while caring for children. Society has painted a picture of motherhood that should come naturally, bonding being an instantaneous thing. The truth is it’s more common than not to feel sensations of the “blues.” Society has a large portion of the blame for unnatural expectations placed upon new mothers. The words an unwanted echo in their psyche….They must lose weight. They must be a good mother and wife. You must breastfeed.
The Reluctant Mother is multi-layered and parallel, and the reader was able to recognise situations, characters and pain contained within the pages. The author created a narrative that will resonate with many women.
The story is told in two different viewpoints, Collette and her husband, Finn. The birth of their baby, Dylan has brought a massive change to the dynamics of their family life. Collette is admitting to a psyche ward after giving birth to their baby – a diagnosis of Post-partum Psychosis is quickly discussed. Her pain and suffering is like a cold knife at the back of your neck. It changes her husband too; his actions are at time extremely painful and would make me angry the more I read but I suppose people deal with difficult situations in different ways. It’s a difficult topic to read about and I had to read this story in smaller segments because it emitted strong emotional responses in me.
The Reluctant Mother is tackles extremely difficult topics…Motherhood. Infidelity. Depression. It’s a stark reminder that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Life is going to throw you a curveball and it’s all about keeping your head above water and to just keep swimming. Throw in the deviousness of an apparent best friend who always seems to have an ulterior motive.
The issue that really sticks out in this story is the vow – “in sickness and in health.” Are these words just spoken without any thought of what that actually means in reality. People get sick and sometimes they get struck down with chronic illness. How many people will actually stay and look after them, without looking elsewhere for things there partner can no longer give them. It’s sad and upsetting.
The Reluctant Mother was intricately plotted and beautifully written. A must-read novel about motherhood and depression and most of all about love. Hemmie Martin can bring a scene to life with a mere sentence.
ABOUT HEMMIE MARTIN
I spent most of my professional life as a Community Nurse for people with learning disabilities, a Family Planning Nurse, and a Forensic Nurse working with young offenders. I spent six years living in the south of France, and I currently live in Essex with my husband. My eldest daughter is studying veterinary medicine, and my second daughter is studying for a degree in computer science. We board Guide Dogs in training.
I love reading authors such as Anita Brookner, Sylvia Plath, Ian Rankin, Maggie O’Farrell, and PD James, to name but a few. I love Woody Allen films, action and war films. I enjoy cooking but loathe ironing. Dusting comes fairly low down on my list of priorities.
I have a sense of humour, that sometimes shines through, but I also have a dark side which I enjoy displaying in my writing. I’m published by Winter Goose Publishing.