A Mother's Story
By Amanda Prowse
Published by Head of Zeus (26 February 2015)
Jessica's wedding was like a fairytale. She looked radiant in a dress strewn with crystals. Her Dad conquered his nerves and made a tearful speech. And her gorgeous husband Matthew declared himself the luckiest man alive. Together, Jessica and Matthew feel like they can take on the world. But when their beautiful baby girl is born, Jessica is gripped with panic and fear. She can't tell anyone how she feels. Even when her life starts to spiral out of control…
This is her story. A mother's story.
I loved this book and couldn't put it down. A Mother's Story triggered so many of my emotions as I read - I laughed, I cried, I felt angry, I felt sad ...
The book's prologue pulled me in straight away, as Jessica enters into her new 'home', clearly distraught, scared and broken by recent events. The rest of the book carefully weaves together two parallel stories. There's Jessica and Matthew in past, getting married, setting up home and planning their future together. Then there's Jessica writing in her present day diary (starting after the prologue), which spans nearly three years.
Jessica and Matthew seem so normal - no different to any other couple about to become parents for the first time. Yet when their baby is born, after a difficult labour and birth, Jessica struggles to cope. She refuses to ask for help, and Matthew and her family believe that she just needs to pull herself out of her 'baby blues'.
A Mother's Story is written beautifully. While it's a fictional account, the underlying issue of post-natal depression is a serious one for many women, and Amanda Prowse has tackled it with great sensitivity. I read the last couple of chapters hiding from my family, so they didn't see the tears running down my cheeks. This was one of the most moving books I have read for some time - maybe because it tackles such a 'real' issue and has such 'normal' characters.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher through the Lovereading Review Panel in exchange for an honest review.