Blog Tour – Her Mother’s Daughter by Alice Fitzgerald


Today I am pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Her Mother’s Daughter, the debut novel by Alice Fitzgerald…

Set in England and Ireland during the 1980’s and 1990’s, Her Mother’s Daughter follows the story of a woman who is haunted by her past and her relationship with her ten-year-old daughter. Josephine has been left troubled by disturbing events from her childhood, and this has contributed to the issues she contends with later in life and her own behaviour towards her daughter, Clare.  The narrative switches back and forth through time, as we hear from Josephine in 1980, as she prepares to leave Ireland for a new life in London, and then to London in 1997, where we see Josephine is now married, and the mother of two children. The chapters also alternate between the voices of Josephine and her daughter Clare, enabling the reader to get a glimpse of their troubled relationship from the perspective of a mother and a daughter. We see how Josephine met Michael, her now husband, a man who clearly dotes on her and their children. However, despite her loving family, Josephine struggles to come to terms with the abuse she faced as a child, and as a mother she has become emotionally abusive towards her own children and somewhat resentful towards their bond with their father. There was a sense of foreboding to this story, and as I read on I was wondering what may happen next within the family, and whether Josephine can find the peace she craves.  But a call from home forces Josephine to reopen old wounds, and her family travel to Ireland together to see her family.

I was quickly drawn into this story, and found the plight of Josephine and Clare to be a compelling one. This is certainly a book that deals with some difficult issues concerning emotional and physical abuse and family relationships, particularly between a mother and daughter. I liked the use of the two differing perspectives, and I thought that the chapters narrated by Clare were effective in portraying a difficult situation from a child’s perspective. I thought that Fitzgerald captured Clare’s innocence perfectly; showing how she processed her mother’s behaviours, which made for a moving read. Whilst I really felt for Clare and her brother I did find it more difficult to warm to Josephine. I felt that although she was the victim of something terrible, my sympathy was dampened by her attitude towards those that loved her most, and it left me wondering when the cycle of emotional abuse would end. Their story was well written, capturing the complex array of emotions, and their desperation. And as the plot developed their situation became all the more desperate, and I read on in the hope that there would be a bright future ahead for Josephine and her family…

Her Mother’s Daughter was a gripping and moving read which dealt with some harrowing themes as it tells the story of a family coming to terms with the impact of long hidden secrets. It was published on 5th April 2018 by Allen & Unwin. Many thanks to the publisher and Anne Cater for providing a copy for review, and for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. You can check out the other stops on the tour on the dates and blogs below!


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