A Mother Like Mine
by Kate Hewitt
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 8, 2017)
Abby Rhodes is just starting to get her life on track. After her fiancé’s unexpected death, she returned with her young son to the small village where she grew up and threw herself into helping her ailing grandmother run the town’s beach café. Then one evening, her mother, Laura, shows up in Hartley-by-the-Sea and announces her plan to stay. After twenty years away, she now wants to focus on the future—and has no intention, it seems, of revisiting the painful past.
It’s just you know how gossip spreads in this village… Worse than measles.
Did Laura have emotional baggage? Didn’t everyone? They were all dragging something behind them, whether it was a steamer trunk or a handbag. Abby certainly had a truckload…
Just don’t stew too long in your own juices, Abby. It doesn’t make for a pleasant marinade.
The chip on her shoulder practically went down to her belly button.
Kate Hewitt is a prolific writing with a seven page listing on Amazon, so why did it take me so long to take notice, as A Mother Like Mine is my first time reading her work? Silly me! I plan to rectify my grievous error and short sightedness as the gal has skills, and I want to absorb all her words. Her skillful crafting of this intriguing tale with a complicated family dynamic featured realistically flawed people struggling with real-life concerns, yet it was captivating, easy to follow, and engaging. And thankfully, she sprinkled in clever story threads with bites of humor and amusing observations throughout, to help alleviate the angsty tension.
Several generations of Rhodes women were tragically lacking in dating and parental skills, with at least three generations managing to find themselves “up the duff” before someone put a ring on it, which just isn’t the accepted practice in any small and gossipy village. Yet after a lifetime of avoidance, Laura Rhodes hopes to attempt a parenting do-over with her now nearly thirty-year old daughter Abby, whom she had left behind at age two while Laura had been a distressed teenage dropout. Establishing any type of connection was not an easy task due to Abby’s life-long resentments, abandonment issues, and simmering anger. Limited options and family issues threw them together to forge a surprising alliance that slowly grew from a tense and prickly dynamic into a supportive and healing connection. Long held secrets, deep emotional wounds, and misconceptions abound.