The Other Mother by Carol Goodman was recommended to me by a friend who shares my love for thrillers – the darker, the better. This was my first book by Carol Goodman, but I already have more books by her on the way. The Other Mother was different, it was a unique story full of crazy parallels and it had a bit of a The Wives by Tarryn Fisher vibe. While it started off a little slow for me and had a few twists that relied a little too much on coincidence, I really enjoyed this book.
The Other Mother by Carol Goodman Synopsis
“When Daphne Marist and her infant daughter, Chloe, pull up the gravel drive to the home of Daphne’s new employer, it feels like they’ve entered a whole new world. Tucked in the Catskills, the stone mansion looks like something out of a fairy tale, its lush landscaping hiding the view of the mental asylum just beyond its border. Daphne secured the live-in position using an assumed name and fake credentials, telling no one that she’s on the run from a controlling husband who has threatened to take her daughter away.
Daphne’s new life is a far cry from the one she had in Westchester where, just months before, she and her husband welcomed little Chloe. From the start, Daphne tries to be a good mother, but she’s plagued by dark moods and intrusive thoughts that convince her she’s capable of harming her own daughter. When Daphne is diagnosed with Post Partum Mood Disorder, her downward spiral feels unstoppable—until she meets Laurel Hobbes.
Laurel, who also has a daughter named Chloe, is everything Daphne isn’t: charismatic, sophisticated, fearless. They immediately form an intense friendship, revealing secrets to one another they thought they’d never share. Soon, they start to look alike, dress alike, and talk alike, their lives mirroring one another in strange and disturbing ways. But Daphne realizes only too late that being friends with Laurel will come at a very shocking price—one that will ultimately lead her to that towering mansion in the Catskills where terrifying, long-hidden truths will finally be revealed….”Goodreads
What I Loved
Postpartum depression is not a unique theme in thrillers, but it was explored in a really unique way in this story. I was obsessed with finding out more about Laurel and Daphne as well as their relationship. Despite the slow-for-me start, the book took off and I couldn’t put it down. Normally when books change point of view, I have a favorite character. Here, I was interested in everyone’s story equally and hungrily. Some of the many twists were predictable while others weren’t. Overall, I loved the balance of everything in The Other Mother.
What I Didn’t Love
Normally, I wouldn’t have even batted an eyelash at this. But since reading a review about another book, it came to my attention that many thrillers have plot-twists that rely on coincidences. This doesn’t kill a book for me, but obviously it’s better when things are designed to not happen coincidentally. Here especially, I feel like there could have been a better explanation that would have turned the coincidence into a genius turn of events. I can’t get into details without spoiling the entire story though.
Summary: The Other Mother by Carol Goodman
The Other Mother by Carol Goodman was a great thriller that took me on a rollercoaster ride. The book had amazing characters that explored both the strengths and weaknesses that came with motherhood. While I am not a mother, I could empathize with these women and their struggles. I love that the book kept me guessing until the very end. I cannot wait to read more by Carol Goodman!