Posted in reviews

A Good Mother by Lara Bazelon Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two young mothers find themselves in a gripping murder trial as one must defend the other and prove her innocence in the face of growing evidence to the contrary in author Lara Bazelon’s “A Good Mother”.

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The Synopsis

A gripping page turner about two young mothers, one grisly murder, and the lengths both women will go in the name of their children.

When young decorated combat veteran Travis Hollis is found stabbed through the heart at a U.S. Army base in Germany, there is no doubt that his wife, Luz, is to blame. But was it an act of self defense? A frenzied attempt to save her infant daughter from domestic abuse? Or the cold blood murder of an innocent man?

As the case heads to trial in Los Angeles, hard-charging attorney Abby Rosenberg is eager to return from maternity leave—and her quickly fracturing home life—to take the case and defend Luz. Abby, a new mother herself, is committed to ensuring Luz avoids prison and retains custody of her daughter. But as the evidence stacks up against Luz, Abby realizes the task proves far more difficult than she suspected – especially when she has to battle for control over the case with her co-counsel, whose dark absorption with Luz only complicates matters further.

As the trial careens toward an outcome no one expects, readers will find themselves in the seat of the jurors, forced to answer the question – what does it mean to be a good mother? A good lawyer? And who is the real monster?

The Review

A gripping legal thriller, the author has used her expertise in the field of legal aid to really dive into the laborious work that goes into being a lawyer at trial. The balance found of legal work and suspense as the evidence and discoveries made in the case keep the reader guessing made this such an entertaining read. 

The character development was fantastic to see here. From protagonist, Abby, and her challenging battles both at home and in the case kept the reader invested in the narrative, while the back and forth on Luz as a suspect in the case and whether or not she could be trusted made for some interesting and gripping storytelling. Then pacing is what really sets the tone for the novel, as the story begins wildly with the 911 call on the night of the crime, and then steps back and begins to set up the trial itself as the mystery begins to slowly be peeled layer by layer. 

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, heart-pounding, and evenly-paced read, author Lara Bazelon’s “A Good Mother” is a fantastic thriller and a must-read novel. Great character growth and a pulse-racing mystery that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat make this story shine brightly and make for the perfect summer read for fans of the genre. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lara Bazelon is an attorney, journalist, MacDowell Fellow, former public defender, and professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she holds the Phillip and Muriel C. Barnett Chair in Trial Advocacy. She is also the author of Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction, as well as the upcoming nonfiction book, Ambitious Like a Mother: Women, Ambition, and Motherhood, and her writing has been published widely in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, The Washington Post, and many others.

SOCIAL LINKS:

Author website: https://larabazelon.com/ 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/larabazelon

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larabazelon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/larabazelon 

BUY LINKS:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/a-good-mother/9781335916099

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335916099

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-good-mother-lara-bazelon/1137392597?ean=9781335916099 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1335916091?tag=hqnweb-20

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-good-mother/id1525079297?uo=4&at=10l9MF&ct=hqnweb 

Books A Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335916099?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=2e657d74919611eb8308010a0a82b820

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-good-mother 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9780369703149&c=books 

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An Excerpt from “A Good Mother”

Saturday, October 14, 2006

2:51 a.m.

Ramstein Air Base

Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany

“Front desk, Sergeant Jamison.”

“He was too big. I couldn’t get him off me. He told me I was going to die—[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am?”

“[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am, where are you?”

“1074-B Arizona Circle. Call an ambulance. I need—”

“Okay, okay. I’ve got the EMT on the other line and the ambulance en route. Where are you hurt?”

“Not me—”

“Ma’am, is that—is that a baby crying? Is that your baby?”

“[unintelligible]”

“Did he hurt the baby?”

“She’s—[unintelligible]—the other room. He was going to [unintelligible]”

“Okay, I reported the break-in. We are dispatching—security forces have been dispatched. Where is he now?”

“[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am, where is the intruder now?”

“He was stabbed. Oh, Jesus, oh, Jesus—[unintelligible]”

“What is the nature of the injury?”

“There’s so much blood—[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am, I can’t—I’m having trouble understanding you. I need for you to calm down so I can tell these guys what’s going on.”

“[unintelligible]”

“Where is he stabbed?”

“In his chest. He’s losing all of his blood.”

“The EMT is en route now.”

“[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am, could the intruder hurt you or the baby? Are you still in danger?”

“He’s not—[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am—”

“—an intruder. He’s— It’s Staff Sergeant—[unintelligible]”

“I’m having a hard time understanding you, ma’am. Take a breath. Take a breath.”

“Staff Sergeant Travis Hollis—”

“The intruder is—he’s—he’s military?”

“He’s my husband. He was stabbed. I stabbed him—[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am, ma’am, are you still there?”

“Travis, baby, don’t die on me. Please, don’t die.”

Excerpted from A Good Mother by Lara Bazelon, Copyright © 2021 by Lara Bazelon. Published by Hanover Square Press.

Author:

Anthony Avina, (Born March 1990), is an author, a journalist, and a blogger. Born in Southern California, he has battled through injuries, disabilities, moves back and forth across the country, and more, yet still maintains a creative voice that he hopes to use not only to entertain but to inspire hope in even the darkest situations. He writes short stories and novels in several genres, and is also a seasoned journalist for the online magazine, On Request Magazine, as well as the popular site TheGamer. Having grown up reading the books of Dean Koontz and Stephen King, they inspired him to write new and exciting stories that delved into the minds of richly developed characters. He constantly tries to write stories that have never been told before, and to paint a picture in your mind while you are reading the book, as if you could see every scene of the book as if it were a movie you were watching. His stories will get your imaginations working, and will also show that in spite of the most despairing and horrific situations, hope is never out of reach. He am always writing, and so there will never be a shortage of new stories for your reading pleasure. http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

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