Darlene Foster's Blog

Good Mothers Don’t

Posted on: May 1, 2020

Today was supposed to be the release of Laura Best’s adult novel, Good Mothers Don’t. But due to current affairs, like many things, the release has been delayed until June. But I would still like to tell you about it as it is such a great book. Mark it as “want to read” on Goodreads. It can be preordered on most bookstore sites as well.

It’s 1960, and Elizabeth has a good life. A husband who takes care of her, two healthy children, a farm in the Forties Settlement. But Elizabeth is slowly coming apart, her reality splintering. She knows she will harm her children, wants to harm her children, wants to be stopped from harming her children. She doesn’t sleep, becomes incoherent. Elizabeth is taken away.

We rejoin her in 1975, “well” once again, living in a group home and desperately trying to fill in the enormous gaps electric shock therapy has left in her memory. She remembers five words from her past and knows they are significant, but their meaning is slippery and she can’t grasp more. She knows that Jewel and Jacob are her children, though she can’t picture their faces, and more than anything, she longs to find them and explain that she never meant to leave for so long.

Shifting through time and points of view, acclaimed author Laura Best’s first novel for adults allows us to see the ripple effects of mental illness and its treatment in the mid-twentieth century. Good Mothers Don’t is a moving exploration of illness, memory, and how we fight for who we love.

This is my review of Good MOthers Don’t

What would you do if you were a mother and felt you were losing your mind? This incredible book introduces us to Elizabeth, a wife and mom in the early 1960s who is grappling with her sanity. Then something happens to push her over the edge, resulting in a family that is torn apart. This well written, gripping story is told by Elizabeth and those affected by her. I have enjoyed everything Laura Best has written in the past, but she has outdone herself with this story. She has created characters so believable you begin to think you have met them somewhere before, perhaps a neighbor or a family member. I felt the pain, the hope and most of all, the love. I closed the book and wanted to start reading it all over again. This story will stay with me for a long time. Thank you Vagrant Press for the ARC.

Review on Goodreads by Darlene Foster

Laura was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

Where did you get the idea to write, Good Mothers Don’t?

In the very beginning, Good Mothers Don’t started out as a short story about a young girl who is abandoned by her mother.  I wanted to discover why the mother left her children behind and so I wrote another story, told by the mother this time. What I eventually ended up with was a collection of stories that my editor suggested was really a novel. So I went about filling in all the missing pieces, which sounds rather simplistic when, in reality, it took a long time for me to fit all the pieces of the story together. The story revealed itself to me as I wrote so there were things that came as a surprise to me.

When and where do you prefer to write?

I write, quite often, in the evening since I work during the day, but even when I’m at work I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters. I wrote my last three books in my office but I recently replaced my ailing laptop and so I’ve often been writing in my comfy chair in the living room lately while stealing glances at the TV.

Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?

When writing, I like to have a cup of herbal tea nearby. I like trying new teas and I’m quite enjoying chamomile and lemon at the moment.

Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Some of my characters are a conglomerate of people I’ve known but once I find a particular character’s voice they let me know who they are. It is usually upon reflection that I notice any similarities to my characters and the people I know.

If you could choose one fictional character to be your best friend, who would you choose and why?  (I’m sure there are many but just pick one)

I would probably choose Anne Shirley. She is such a spirited character and I’m sure we’d have some wonderful adventures together.

Tell us about your next writing project/projects.

At the moment I’m working on a young adult novel with a male protagonist which is a bit different for me, but I also have a couple of adult novels that I’m really anxious to get back into writing. I usually have several stories happening at once and tend to jump back and forth.

A brief bio

Laura Best has had over forty short stories published in literary magazines and anthologies. Her first novel, Bitter, Sweet was short listed for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and made the Best Books for Kids and Teens 2011 list. Her book, Flying with a Broken Wing, was named one of the Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of 2015. Her book, Cammie Takes Flight was nominated for the Silver Birch award and was a CCBC starred selection. Good Mothers Don’t is her first novel for adults.

Social Media Links

Blog : lauraabest.wordpress.com

Twitter: @laura_a_best

Facebook: @laurabestauthor

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5135897.Laura_Best

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/laurabest

I would keep an eye out for this book as it is sure to be a bestseller!!

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38 Responses to "Good Mothers Don’t"

Great to meet Laura, Darlene, this sounds like a fabulous book. I can understand delaying the release of a book as purchases are definitely down right now.

Yes, a few releases have been delayed. Although many people are reading more as they have more time, but mostly digital books. I’m actually reading books on my shelf that I’ve wanted to read for a long time. This book is definitely worth a read.

This sounds like a powerful story. Unfortunately, many mothers suffer postpartum depression or other illnesses and do things they would never normally consider doing.
Adding to my TBR list!

You will like this book, Jacquie!!

You have written a beautiful and engaging review and are really tempting me to order the book without delay. The conversation between Laura and you flows easily and I find the answers very enlightening.


Thank you, Miriam. It is a great read.

What a heart-breaking story. Of all my body parts, I cherish my brain the most. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost it.

The story is heartbreaking but also full of hope. It has a satisfying ending too. As important and amazing as our brain is, it is the heart that conquers all.

Thanks so much all our support, Darlene, and for inviting me to your blog. I’m so very grateful and had lots of fun answering you questions. While we have no control over what is happening in the world at the moment, we can control some things, like extending acts of kindness to an author whose book is about to be released during a pandemic! Thanksyou for your kindness. Not only are you a super write, but you are a super friend! ❤

Supporting each other is the most important thing we can do right now. It is a pleasure to have you as a guest on my blog. We met 10 years ago when we both had a story selected for an anthology and have been friends ever since. I hope one day we can meet in person.😍

I hope we get to meet one day as well. It would certainly be a highlight for me! ❤

Sounds intriguing. Looking forward to reading it!

You won’t be disappointed.

What a wonderful interview, Darlene, and Laura’s book has definitely piqued my interest. It’s nice to see you, too, as I disappeared from WP over a year ago and have now recently returned. Hope you and yours are staying safe and well. Lauren

Nice to see you back, Lauren. Thanks for stopping by. Laura’s book is excellent.

Sounds like a fascinating book. I’ll definitely keep my eyes open to grab it when it appears. Thank you Laura and thanks for sharing, Darlene. Stay safe and have a great weekend!

Thanks, Christa. You will enjoy the book. Have a safe weekend your self!!

What a bold undertaking and a gripping story. Sounds like you want to root for the Elizabeth’s success. So happy you had the chance to interview Laura so that we got a glimpse about how story ideas come to her.

Yes, the reader cheers for Elizabeth the entire time. Laura is an excellent writer and handles this subject well. Thanks.

Sounds like a good one!

Sounds like something I might like to read.

This is a book you would like.

[…] the meantime, I’m a guest of Darlene Foster’s blog today. HERE  Darlene has written a lovely review of Good Mother Don’t  from an ARC she received from my […]

Good Mothers Don’t sounds like a compelling read. I just checked out Laura’s two blogs and see that she’s from Nova Scotia, where my grandmother’s family is from.

It is a compelling read, a book that makes you thin. These are always my favourite books. Nova Scotia is a wonderful place to come from.

Yes, I’ve been there twice. It’s beautiful country.

Sounds excellent! I’ve added it to my Want to Read list on Goodreads.

You will love it. Such a good story and well written. Thankfully some things have changed since the time this story takes place but mental illness is still with us. Have a great Sunday!

Wonderful review of what sounds like a great book.
Lovely to meet Laura, Darlene.

I love to share the news of a good book coming out. Thanks, Patricia.

We’ve come a long way in our understanding of mental illlness, but also have a lot to learn still. So good that authors are addressing it as part of fiction writing.

This is so true. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Thank you, Darlene, for sharing your book review and introducing Laura to us. I add this book to my to read list. #senisal
Hi Laura, Nice to meet you here. All the best with your book launch. You have my admiration for writing your books while working a day job.

I am happy yo pass the word on about Laura. She is quite amazing. Thanks for stopping by. xo

This book is going on my TBR list right away. Thanks for the recommendation, Darlene!

You are so welcome. You will love it! Stay safe, Jennifer.

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