Title: The perfect mother
Author: Margaret Leroy
Sarah P’s pick
Catriona seems to have put aside her troubled childhood and is now living the life she wanted. She lives in a nice home with her husband, stepdaughter and her own daughter Daisy. However Daisy gets the flu and doesn’t seem to recover fully. Catriona tries to help her but finds her attempts are misunderstood and she is at risk of having Daisy taken away from her.
As Catriona searches for answers to Daisy’s illness she finds herself accused of fabricating the illness or even deliberately hurting her daughter. Even her husband starts to doubt her and sides with the specialists. As the story is narrated by Catriona the reader does not get to see anyone else’s viewpoint and also starts to question what the real cause of Daisy’s illness is.
To help her daughter Catriona finds she can no longer avoid her past and cover it up with lies and secrets. She must look back to her own childhood and relationship with her own estranged mother before she can move forward.
The author worked as a social worker and also had a daughter with an undiagnosed illness so she writes convincingly of dealing with the medical establishment and the sense of authority they have over a mother’s intuition and observances.
This book was published earlier under the title Postcards from Berlin in reference to the postcards Daisy receives from her mother. The library also holds another book by this author called The Drowning Girl about a single mum trying to deal with her troubled daughter.