“Perfect” mother of three, Jennifer Lewis has it all, until one night she receives a phone call from her daughter Emma who is studying abroad in Europe. A “ripped from the headlines” kind of novel, “The Perfect Mother” explores just how difficult the relationship can be between mothers and daughters, and just what unconditionally loving someone actually means.
For those that may have read Jennifer duBois’ “Cartwheel” the plot may sound familiar. College student who has not told her parents everything, secrets, a murder in a foreign country, etc. In fact, it was very hard not to compare the two as I was reading. Fortunately, it’s been a while since I read “Cartwheel,” and Darnton adds her own twists and turns, though I personally preferred the characters of “Cartwheel” more. It’s not that Darnton’s characters are not well developed, I just found it hard to like anything about Jennifer or her daughter, and I spent most of the book feeling horrible for the clearly long-suffering Mr. Lewis. That said, I much prefer the cover art of “The Perfect Mother” -I know, not totally relevant… but I really disliked what was chosen for “Cartwheel.”
Clocking in at just under 300 pages, the plot is well-paced and would be a perfect plane trip read. While you will enjoy it if you have read “Cartwheel,” be prepared for a lot of similarities.
Available for pre-order from Amazon.com and on shelves November 25h, 2014.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.