Cover Image: Mother Mother

Mother Mother

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Member Reviews

This book is a real rollercoaster. You can’t put it down and you can’t stop reading. For a first time author this is a tremendous book, she really keeps you engaged and keeps her cards to her chest in regards to key information. A great book and I can’t wait for more by her!
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*BOOK REVIEW - ‘Mother Mother’ by Annie MacManus
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Not many books I’ve read recently have driven me stay up all night. But @anniemacmanus debut novel ‘Mother Mother’ did. In every good way. It’s that kind of a page turner. 
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Set in Belfast, ‘Mother Mother’ is the story about the coming of age of a woman called Mary. Having lost her Mother at the age of 2 years, it is Mary who pretty much looks after her brother Sean and father, from about the age of 8 years. All the while witnessing her father drowning in grief and alcohol.
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But Mary simply just gets on with it. Because she’s always just managed. 
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Until one day Mary vanishes. 
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The book flits between Mary’s early life and the present, with her son TJ narrating his side of the story in the days leading up to his Mother’s disappearance. 
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This story is about the varying ways grief can suffocate you. It’s about how women, simply ‘just get on with it’, even when shit hits the literal fan. 
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But there comes a time when it all becomes a bit too much and the cry for help can ignite itself and show up in many forms. Often devastatingly. 
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You can’t help but adore Mary. I found myself literally turning the page and wanting to keep going well into the night just to make sure she ends up okay. 
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And does she? 
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Well you’ll have to buy @anniemacmanus’ brilliant debut book and find out. 
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I tried reading this a few times but it just didn’t grip me unfortunately. 

I love Annie Mac but this book just wasn’t my thing.
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I struggled to stay focused on the begining of this book as i couldn't relate or warm to the characters. But this does get better towards the end. At times this is an emotional read that deals with some tough themes which i found difficult at times. 

Thank you to @netgalley and @headlinebooks for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
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A celebrity vanity project with no real substance. Couldn't get into it. Flat characters, strange dialogue, and too evocative of the author's real life that effectively feels like a memoir in disguise.
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<p>Wow oh wow, how is this a debut? This is an absolutely fantastic novel which has pulled me in and completely captivated me from the beginning. </p>
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<p>This is a heartbreaking novel which is focused on a family over many years. Macmanus has really portrayed the unconditional love in a sensitive and beautifully written way. </p>
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<p>I have loved the differing perspectives and how the characters have been created. There are carefully placed events weaved into the plot of this one. </p>
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<p>This is a book that caught my eye by the gorgeous cover and the synopsis just raised my intrigue even further. I have devoured page after page of this one in just one sitting. </p>
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<p>There are very serious and emotive aspects to this book. As well as being incredibly moving and gorgeously written. I have loved the characters in this one and their journey has been one that I have loved. </p>
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<p>This is a wonderful debut novel and I am really excited to see what else the author has in store for us. This is without a doubt a five star read that should absolutely be on the TBR. </p>
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The book is well written and clearly very thoroughly researched but for me the plot lacked originality.
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Beautifully written story, a lovely pace despite not being action packed. Personalities that come alive and occupy your mind when not reading. Sad but not dark.
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What do you do when the one person you rely on disappears in you overnight? They’re there when you go to bed and when you get up the next day, they’re gone. This stark wake up call hit young adult TJ as he’s seems happy whiling away his young adult life when his mum Mary vanishes.

I was totally engrossed in the life of Mary and TJ. From the start, I jumped back and forth between TJ’s current predicament and stress and his mum’s journey to the present day. The story really got under my skin as I learnt more about Mary and TJ. Written in the third person, I could hear Macmanus’s dulcet tones narrating the story.

I felt I went through the emotional ringer with Mary with the continual strife the men in her life threw at her. And what a heartbreaking and emotional ending. I was left shell shocked, numb in the final pages. The stark reality that Mary could be anyone of us. So many of us give in life but to what personal sacrifice?

This is a stunning debut from Macmanus. I personally think this woman is born to write. The story flowed so naturally despite the time jumps in the narrative. I’ll definitely be reading her next novel.
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A stunning hard hitting novel, soaked with addiction and family longing. Moving between present-time Mary, past Mary and her son TJ, the story of growing up with addiction in the family and how this spirals through generations is a powerful one. It reminded me on Bright Burning Things in its approach, and stirred up similar feelings
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Mother Mother is an interesting and emotional debut novel about motherhood and families and the decisions we make in life. I raced through this book eager to find out what happened next. This was a difficult read in places and Annie Macmanus really captured the genuine emotion of the two main characters, Mary and TJ. I hadn't heard a lot about this book before I read it but I would now recommend it to friends and family.
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The best book I've read so far this year!

Mother Mother by @anniemacmanus is a story of family, motherhood, grief and addiction. Mary McConnell has been a mother to her father, her brother Sean and her son TJ. In order to be there for the people around her she has been suppressing a lot of grief and sadness, until finally it breaks her. When one day Mary disappears and TJ can't find or reach her, we get to follow the parallel roads of Mary's life and TJ's search for her.

This book was amazing, I just didn't want to stop reading. The book describes so nicely and so well how our experiences affect us and how grief can guide us and hinder us if it is not expressed.  All the characters in the book are so human, vivid and real and I can get an understanding of their behavior and actions even when it's wrong. I would recommend this book to everyone and I am so glad I got the chance to read it early.
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Mother Mother is a depiction of family life in Belfast told mainly through the POV of Mary, a teenager in the 90s who lost her mum when she was little and is growing up with her brother Sean and her alcoholic father. The timeline switches between Mary growing up and the present day when Mary is a single mother to TJ. I have to say I didn’t love the constantly changing timeline but the way the the themes of addiction, bereavement, repressed emotions and mental illness/PTSD are treated is very well done. It always feels very authentic and there are many very recognisable situations that I am sure many of us who have grown up in Ireland will identify with. This is a solid debut from Annie MacManus.
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I loved this book - thankfully. I was so nervous going into it this but Annie didn't disappoint. The book is a study on unconditional love and it touches on some really important themes. Overall, a strong debut and I can't wait to see what else she writes
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This is a wonderful forensic study of unconditional love and family. It covers some really tricky subjects such as: addiction, bereavement and the complexities of motherhood, but is done with great sensitivity and nuance. A great debut
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When I saw Annie Mac was releasing her own book I was excited about it and so glad to have been approved via NetGalley.

I am gutted I didn’t love it as much as I would have hoped but I didn’t hate it. It was enjoyable but I did get confused at times due to various timelines going back and forth quite a lot.

I did like Mary’s character, a strong and genuine woman. The majority of the story was told from Mary’s POV which went from her younger years, growing up, becoming a mother and dealing with family addiction to alcohol and drugs. Some of Mary’s past time chapters did fall a bit flat for me but most were interesting to read but also sad. Dealing with grief, loss and loneliness.

Although I didn’t love this book, I will definitely read more of Annie’s work, hope to see more books in the future.

3.5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the ARC of this book.
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One Saturday morning, TJ McConnell wakes up to find his mother, Mary, gone. He doesn't know where - or why - but he's the only one who can help find her. Mary grew up longing for information about the mother she never knew. Her brother could barely remember her, and their father numbed his pain with drink. Now aged thirty-seven, Mary has lived in the same house her whole life. She's never left Belfast. TJ, who's about to turn eighteen, is itching to see more of the world. But when his mother disappears, TJ begins to realise what he's been taking for granted.

There are some pretty heavy, emotional parts in this, and I read the last few chapters through tears. I can’t believe that this is a debut - it’s so well written. It’s an easy book to recommend, and a tough book to read.

This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
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I am a huge fan of Annie Mac as a DJ and is someone I greatly admire. When I heard she was releasing her debut novel, I could not wait and was so happy to be accepted for this netgalley copy. Mother Mother does not disappoint.

Mother Mother studies one family across a few decades in a non-linear fashion. The story has a split narrative, one following Mary McConnell and the other following her 18 year old son TJ. Mary has lived in Belfast her entire life whereas TJ is eager to see the world. One day Mary goes missing and TJ has to dig into Mary’s past to understand why she has disappeared.

This book is a beautiful study of unconditional love for family but it equally heart-breaking. MacManus writes sensitively but impactfully about grief, addiction and motherhood. Mary’s story of pregnancy and labour was so well done. It is hard not to become invested in these characters and their stories. They live ordinary lives, which are far from delightful. It is a story about resilience, particularly from women like Mary, and how actions can impact generations.

I adored the narrative structure and how Mary and TJ’s stories weave together. MacManus’ references to historical events, whether that be cultural, political or technological, are carefully placed in the narrative. Cultural references are not forced but are inserted naturally into the narrative. It can be easy to force references into a story to get a sense of place and space but every word of MacManus’ writing has purpose.

Like Milkman by Anna Burns and Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, Mother Mother is a brutal observation of struggle and the complexity of family and community. Unlike Milkman and Shuggie Bain, I think the tone of the writing is lighter but still manages to bring the reality of ordinary lives to the forefront of contemporary fiction.
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Wow ! How can I do this stunning debut justice ? This is definitely the best book I have read this year and I raced through it in two sittings completely immersed in the lives of Mary and her son TJ. It is set in 2018, TJ is 18 and his mother Mary is missing. We follow TJ's search alongside hearing about Mary's life , from growing up with her father and brother Sean in West Belfast to the present day. Although the themes of this book - grief, loss and addiction- may seem bleak I did not find this to be a bleak read. MacManus is a wonderfully gifted writer, drawing you into the characters lives so completely. I felt so much compassion and empathy for all of the characters and did not want this novel to end. I know it will stay with me for a long time. Highly recommended.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital ARC
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I'm quite friendly with Annie. Its something she's totally unaware of,but we spend several hours a week together.
Have done for years.
And so I was excited to get my hands on this,but a bit worried.
What if its rubbish? Will I still look at her the same?
ITS NOT RUBBISH.
Its actually quite the emotional read,about family,what it is to you in all its forms,and how you will cling on to it.
I had my cynical heart tugged by young Mary,and almost laughed at loud at TJ demonstrating perfectly how we take those that love us and we love,for granted.

A very enjoyable debut.
I look forward to seeing what comes next.
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