River City Reading

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Mother, Mother - Koren Zailckas Josephine Hurst has done a stellar job holding up the facade of her perfectly successful family until her oldest daughter, Rose, runs away with an elusive boyfriend. Soon, her daughter Violet has joined her hippie friends in taking hallucinogenic drug trips and exploring Eastern religions. Convinced her husband is involved in a torrid affair, Josephine turns to her young son William as her pillar of strength, keeping him under strict control in a last ditch effort to save her family.

As the Hurst family secrets are slowly revealed in Violet and William's alternating chapters, it becomes clear that the reliability of Mother, Mother's narrators and their caretakers stand on shaky ground. Following a violent incident in the home, Violet is hospitalized under psychological care, unsure if she committed the crime her family is accusing her of. Will, recently moved to homeschool for his own safety, feels crushed under the pressure of pleasing his mother without alienating everyone around him.

In a carefully layered, dark tale of psychological control, Koren Zailckas twists her American family to the breaking point. A perfectly creepy book for snuggling up through Fall, Mother, Mother becomes compulsively readable as the Hurst's secrets and lies collide in its bold conclusion.

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