Title: Mother of Pearl
Author: Kellie Coates Gilbert
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Published: September 1, 2012
Barrie Graeber has two great kids, a loving husband, and a respected job as a high school counselor in a close-knit community. Without warning, life as Barrie has known will be turned upside down when her daughter is betrayed and falls apart. Disaster strikes and now the secrets her daughter harbored don’t have any chance of being revealed. At least not by her.
Now this mother must conquer grief and try and pick up the pieces of her life. With a husband and another child to care for, she knows she can’t grieve forever, but questions how she can move on when all she wants to do is grieve the loss of part of her. Her husband doesn’t understand and her son doesn’t feel loved, but she doesn’t feel like keeping things together.
When she starts putting together the pieces of the tragedy that befell their family, she finds a horrifying secret that the beloved football coach has been harboring for years. She now must decide what to do with this shocking discovery. She needs to decide if she’ll follow her husband and mother’s advice, ignore it, or wether she’ll do what her lawyer wants her to do, fight.
Will Barrie move on from the grief that has been slammed into her world or will she fall apart as we’ll as her family? Will she fight or will she ignore the secrets she’s revealed? Will Barrie lose everything because of her grief and unwillingness to let things go or will her husband stand behind her even tough he doesn’t agree with her?
Being a debut author I had nothing to really go on other than cover, both back and front. Sometimes you find a diamond in the rough and sometimes you find a book that needs a lot of work. Unfortunately, this book was the latter. It was a good concept but just wasn’t executed in a way that felt put together. It was a book that just felt disjointed and, at times, unbelievable.
Like I said above, this was an awesome concept it just wasn’t very fluid or fully believable. I felt that the grief element was accurate but Barrie’s husband’s reaction to her grief and search for the truth about her daughter was unrealistic and actually at times down-right mean. I don’t know, I’ve never experienced the loss of a child so I don’t know if this is how people really act, it just felt off to me.
The storyline felt choppy to me as well. Certain issues that were a huge part of the storyline were resolved but not in front of the reader. I felt left out of the story and I was left lurching by the sudden changes in plot and the character’s perspective. Not to mention the book was read in first person which in this case made it extremely difficult to connect with. I felt like I had to force myself to finish this book and that’s a feeling I hate.
The faith in this book is weird too. The friend that’s a Christian in this book is like a Stepford wife and it felt like the author was trying to say that Christians live like her, which isn’t true. The family goes to church but you don’t get to see the transformation to Christ or anything. It felt like the author kind of forgot that her book had to have some faith in it and so she just added it in. It was definitely strange.
This author is brand new to writing and I hope that she improves in her writing. I don’t know if I’ll pick up another of her books for some time. I do intend to watch her though. Who knows, I might just pick up another of her books later. I think she’ll do well in her drama genre if she improves and makes her stories more fluid.
Overall, this book was the typical debut book. Nothing too extraordinary but nothing too terrible either. I recommend this for someone who wants a different story on a topic most people don’t know happens in school. I give this book a three out of five.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*