Motherless by Erin Healy
Published October 28, 2014 by Thomas Nelson
Synopsis (from author’s website):
A whispering voice at the back of my mind reminds me that I’ve been this way for some time. Dead, that is.
The dead have a very broad view of the living, of actions performed out of sight, of thoughts believed to be private. I would know. Losing both parents is a trial no child should endure, and Marina and Dylan have endured enough. They deserve the one thing I could never give them: a mother’s love.
A mother’s love, and the truth.
My children have believed a lie about me for years and years. After all this time I can still feel their hurt in my heart. But the tether holding me to them is frayed from years of neglect . . . and I have to find a way to make my confession before it snaps.
But when the truth comes out, what other beasts will I unleash?
“Why do we lie to the children?” someone asked me once.
“To protect them,” I answered.
How terrible it is that they need protection from me.
As can be deduced from the synopsis, this story is told by one who is not living (or so we think), yet is still an integral part in the unfolding of the plot. This unique perspective and voice lent to mystery and suspense in the story. Without this perspective, the plot would not have been near as gripping.
Characters and their stories:
Each character was unique and real. They were given a back story, and it was easy to see how their past had developed them and caused them to become their present selves. And throughout the story, each character grew and learned. These were not one-dimensional, stagnant characters.
There were a few points throughout the story when the “flow” of my reading was thrown off track:
One is a shift in the voice telling the story. I can’t say much about that without giving things away, but I will say it was a bit confusing and took me a little to get back into the telling.
Next was an (what I found to be) unnecessary expletive. The character uses this word in anger and maybe the author added it to show his anger, but it seemed out of place and was more of an interruption than a showing of the character’s state of mind.
Lastly was the ending. Once again, it’s hard to go into detail without giving things away. God is hardly mentioned through out the story, but then in the end there is vague/abstract talk of Him and heaven. It just didn’t flow with the rest of the story, and, like I said, was vague and abstract, which left for a feeling of unresolvedness.
It left me wondering about the characters' spiritual journeys, and what brought them to this place.
I did enjoy this read and found it well written; an engrossing plot with mystery. But I would have like to see a little less mystery in the end.