Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
The Mother: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 10, 2016
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“[A] tour de force that deserves recognition and as wide an audience as possible.” (Patrik Bass, Essence)
I”n the follow-up to her Man Booker Prize-nominated debut, A Cupboard Full of Coats, Edwards delivers a quietly devastating novel about a mother’s attempt to survive after the murder of her 16-year-old son.... Set in Edwards’ native London, the book’s delicate, lyrical prose belies the horrifying events that propel the plot. Readers’ assumptions are challenged, along with Marcia’s, as the twisted realities of life for poor, urban teenagers become clear. Edwards manages to pull off a serious examination of how the social contract is failing a large portion of Britain’s urban population without moralizing in what is, ultimately, the story of one family’s road to acceptance and healing in the wake of a tragic loss.” (Booklist)
“In this memorable story of strength in the aftermath of violent tragedy, Edwards paints a close, vivid portrait of a mother’s unrelenting mission to avoid anger and blame, instead finding real justice and necessary closure.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A mother learns more about her murdered teenage son, and her family, than she knew possible during his killer’s trial.” (Brooklyn Magazine)
“Here are beautifully drawn characters anchored in the universal experiences of love, loss, and grieving. With subtle nuance and elegant precision, Edwards crafts a richly detailed world that holds up the great weight that bears down on it: the death of a child.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Edwards perceptively explores a wide realm of issues, uncovering layer by layer the complicated answers to the questions that have hounded Marcia since her son’s death… Edwards writes with compassion for her characters and with intuitive understanding of the effects of loss on a family, as well as the underlying causes that can lead to senseless crimes such as this one. The Mother is highly recommended for readers who enjoy current issue-related fiction by authors such as Jodi Picoult and Jacquelyn Mitchard.” (BookPage)
“Riveting… [The Mother] explores how one mother copes with the murder of her son-and the courtroom drama of the trial that follows.” (The Root)
“Yvvette Edwards knows how to break your heart. Vivid and real, I care about her characters they way I’d care about my own kin.” (Mitchell Jackson, author of The Residue Years and Oversoul)
“The Mother is beautiful in the clarity of its writing and honest emotion in its depiction of grief. Yvvette Edwards is a formidable talent.” (Jervey Tervalon, author of Monster Chef, The Cocaine Chronicles, and Dead Above Ground)
“Seduces with gripping and enticing storytelling. It takes you through an amazing arrangement of emotions: anger, hate, despair, and grief, while tapping into what it means to yearn for a sense of humanity. An intense, pressure cooker of a novel, showing that Edwards is a star.” (Guy A. Sims, Author of Living Just a Little, Monster, and Brotherman Revelation)
“Love, loss, pain, race, poverty, abuse and redemption are all beautifully played out in Edwards’ novel about a mother struggling to not just ‘remain alive, but live.’ Edwards’ story moves us in and out of a courtroom and into the heart of human suffering and ultimate strength.” (Naseem Rakha, author of The Crying Tree)
“Between the living and the dead stands The Mother. Eloquent, frank, superb.” (Rita Williams-Garcia, winner of the Newbery Honor Award and Coretta Scott King Award)
“This is the clear, rhythmic, honest tale that black mothers raising young black men know: surreal loss and the more surreal truth that we and our children are deeply connected to other black women and their children, no matter where we’ve come from.” (Zelda Lockhart, author of Fifth Born)
From the Back Cover
From the critically acclaimed author of A Cupboard Full of Coats comes a provocative novel of a mother enduring the loss of her child, illuminating some of the most important and troubling issues of our time.
Marcia’s husband, Lloydie, expresses his tender love for his wife each morning by preparing a cup of tea and setting it by her bedside. This routine was part of the wonderful, secure life they had built, complete with a brilliant and handsome sixteen-year-old son, Ryan.
Then the unimaginable happens, and in a single moment Marcia is stripped clean of everything she had presumed was hers for keeps. Ryan, not the kind of boy to find himself on the wrong end of a knife, is brutally murdered. Consumed by grief and rage, she is forced to carry the weight of the family’s pain. She has to assume the role of supporter for her inconsolable husband, who has distanced himself and created a secret life. She must also bridle her dark feelings and endure something no mother should ever have to experience: she must go to court alone for the trial of her son’s killer, Tyson, another teenage boy. As the trial takes apart her son’s life and reassembles it in front of strangers, Marcia, always certain of Ryan’s virtues, finds her beliefs and assumptions challenged as she learns more about her son’s death and of Tyson’s life.
The Mother is a moving portrait of love, tragedy, and survival—and of the aftershocks from a momentary act of cruel violence that transforms the lives of everyone it touches.
Praise for Yvvette Edwards author of A Cupboard Full of Coats
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
“Love, loss, pain, race, poverty, abuse, and redemption are all beautifully played out in Edwards’s novel about a mother struggling to not just ‘remain alive, but live,’ after the murder of her sixteen-year-old son. Edwards’s story moves us in and out of a courtroom, and into the heart of human suffering and ultimate strength.”—Naseem Rakha, author of The Crying Tree
“Yvvette Edwards knows how to break your heart. Vivid and real. I care about her characters the way I’d care about my own kin.”—Mitchell Jackson, author of The Residue Years and Oversoul
“The Mother is beautiful in the clarity of its writing and honest emotion in its depiction of grief. Yvvette Edwards is a formidable talent.”—Jervey Tervalon, author of Monster Chef, The Cocaine Chronicles, and Dead Above Ground
“The Mother seduces with gripping and enticing storytelling. It takes you through an amazing arrangement of emotions: anger, hate, despair, and grief, while tapping in to what it means to yearn for a sense of humanity. An intense pressure cooker of a novel, showing that Yvvette Edwards is a star.”—Guy A. Sims, author of Living Just a Little, Monster, and Brotherman Revelation
“This is the clear, rhythmic, honest tale that black mothers raising young black men know: surreal loss and the more surreal truth that we and our children are deeply connected to other black women and their children, no matter where we’ve come from.”—Zelda Lockhart, author of Fifth Born
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Edwards’ simple, yet impactful writing and powerful images take the reader on the emotional roller coaster ride of the trial along with Marcia…feeling how each subtle change in momentum sends Marcia’s emotions either tumbling or soaring. As the story progresses, the book’s feel changes from quieter to more action-packed, culminating in a particular scene that that felt out of place. I really loved that quieter book and a part of me wishes the ending had maintained the same emotions-focused feel. Despite my lack of love for some aspects of the ending, The Mother is a powerful book in a compact package and would make an excellent book club selection.
Check out my blog, Sarah's Book Shelves, for more reviews.
I found it interesting that I could not tell where the story was set, until some of the British slang showed up in the text. Ms. Edwards adds to the evidence that this kind of story can (and does) happen everywhere.
Marcia's son, Ryan was stabbed to death. He had been seeing a girl, Sweetie, from his school, and another young man, Tyson (the one who killed Ryan) considered Sweetie his property, basically. So, the murder wasn't a racial thing, and I don't think it was over a girl in the sense that Tyson had feelings for Sweetie. It was a pissing match, where the one player took out the other before he could even enter the game.
For me, the main dynamic in The Mother was the differences in the characters' socioeconomic status. Marcia, Lloydie and Ryan were at least middle class. They might not have worn designer or tailored clothing, driven Rolls Royce automobiles and jetted off to Paris for lunch, but they were comfortable.
Sweetie mostly had to fend for herself and started life at a disadvantage. Her father was absent. Her mother was a drug addict, in and out of rehab (in during the action of the story), and she mostly had to fend for herself. When she was born, the mother could not muster the wherewithal to give her a name, and a nurse called the baby "Sweetie", and it stuck. When Tyson 'claimed' her, it was not the sort of thing a girl could turn down. She did not have the back-up Ryan did.
Tyson wanted an alibi and told Sweetie she was going to be it. Then, in court, Sweetie told the truth about when Tyson got to her flat on the day of the murder and she wound up running for her life, basically. And she had a newborn in tow. I think Marcia's and her sister would have stood in that breach for Sweetie alone, but with the baby there was no question that they would help. Props to them for taking a stand.
I've been in the breach a time or two myself and even been there for other when it was needed, so reading The Mother was, at times, hard for me. It even made me a little angry as I reflected that society's 'haves' in large part want to pontificate about the 'have nots' needing to take responsibility for their lives and 'do better'. They just don't tell you that the gates to their walled community are closed and locked down tight.
I want to give a little shout-out to the Tarrant County Women's Center in Texas. I received counseling for depression and assistance in finding a job. If they hadn't been there in my breach for me, I shudder to think where I would be today. And I have tried in the ensuing years to pay it forward. But once, when I told my job counselor that I was also receiving counseling for depression, she told me that I should just stop being depressed. "Gee," I thought, "If I'd have known it was that easy, I'd have flipped that switch years ago!" But then she came through for me in a HUGE way when it came to getting a job with the local police department (transcriptionist) and I am so grateful. (I failed a lie detector test because the tech was suspicious that I knew what 'galvanic skin response' meant. Can we say pre-judging?)
What I'm trying to say, and what Ms. Edwards shows so strongly in The Mother, is that sometimes you just can't be aware of society's ills, you have to roll up your sleeves and jump into the trenches.
I also enjoyed the portrayal of Lloydie (Marcia's husband and Ryan's father). In our society, men are supposed to be the strong ones, the ones that don't 'get all emotional' when life turns sour. Well sometimes that doesn't happen; sometimes the are not (cannot?) be strong. And that's not a bad thing. It doesn't make them weak or 'less of a man'. It's just the way it is. Some times 'real men' do cry.
The Mother reaches out and grabs you from the start. The further in I got, the more I wanted to keep reading. Anyone who has suffered a profound loss, whether it be death of a loved one as in the book or something else, will be able to relate to Marcia's story. I'd really like to donate one to the county library, but will probably buy a copy, because I don't think they would take one that said "uncorrected proof-not for sale" on the front cover. But maybe. One way or another, this book will be available for my neighbors soon.
Another aspect of the book that really pulls the reader inside of the story is the author's use of the first person point of view. I'm a big advocate for this writing style (if you've read any of my other reviews, you'll already know this) because of the intense and deeply personal bond it allows the reader to create with the narrator. In this case, the story is told from Marcia's perspective, so we get an inside look at everything she's going through and trying to deal with at once. It's a difficult place to be, inside her mind during the book, but it's well worth the emotional toll it takes due to the personal bond we grow to have with Marcia. I don't do spoilers and the description pretty much tells you exactly what the book is about anyway. In my opinion though, the story is more about Marcia and how she deals/copes with the death of her son - than the actual crime and trial itself. It's a mesmerizing look into the heart and mind of someone living their worst nightmare - but it's not just a story of grief and loss - it's so much more than that. I highly recommend it to everyone regardless of your usual preferences - this is a beautiful novel that deserves to be read by readers everywhere.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Marcia Williams was an attentive mother and tried to do all the things she could to allow for her son to have the best...Read more