“All the voices sound sensible at the time.”
This line is a thread that runs through the book, but it’s also an accurate description of the different narrators in The Other Mother. Daphne is the main narrator, but we see other points of view based on journal entries from both Daphne and Laurel. The book is structured in such a way that chapters written in the present are broken up by chapters covering the journal entries. Carol Goodman is essentially telling a few stories at once, ones that all come together beautifully in the end, and she does it superbly well. Not only do I want to read more of Goodman’s work now, but I also want to go back and reread this title — that’s how good The Other Mother is.
At first it seems like Daphne is just a mother struggling with the issues that many mothers face after giving birth — she feels lost and unsure about if she’s a good mother or doing anything right. It’s only compounded by her husband, who seems to be gaslighting her and approaching conflicts in a completely unreasonable way. Laurel is an important ally for Daphne, and ultimately I think the life preserver that saves her. There are times that you’ll doubt every single narrator, and wonder about the real truth underneath it all. In my opinion, that’s part of what makes this book such an excellent example of suspenseful writing.
When your to-read list tends to have a ton of thrillers on it, it might feel like you’ve read it all, and that nothing can surprise you anymore. If that’s how you’re feeling, I strongly recommend giving this title a try. Just when you think you have something figured out, the book twists again and will make you doubt everything you think you know about these characters.
Would this make a good GBC pick? Absolutely.