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Ratings and Book Reviews (9 18 star ratings
9 reviews
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4.1 out of 5
18
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    Character-driven, family drama - it was okay.

    When Vicky’s mom misses her graduation, she’s had enough and distances herself. After all, her mom has remarried and is busy raising her new children and Vicky feels overlooked. So, she takes the opportunity to join her college friend’s family for a carefree summer in Corfu before deciding what’s next in life. Vicky returns to England eventually with a baby on the way and no money, career path, or plan to re-connect with her mother. She and her boyfriend, William, move in with his parents and attempt to build a life together, but nothing works out. When their son, Theo, is 2 years old, Vicky makes a life-altering decision that will impact her family - the one she has created - for years to come. Throughout the book, Vicky navigates her own tricky feelings about motherhood and her relationships with two “mother figures”: a strenuous one with her boyfriend’s mother, Barbara, and a loving one with Caro, a woman who owns an Airbnb-style property Vicky manages in a dark season of her life. Will she ever bury the hatchet and try to patch things up with her own mother? I love character-driven, family dramas, but this one was hit-or-miss. Kerry Fisher really “gets” complex female relationships, but there were too many plot twists and just as things were coming together for Vicky, the book ended abruptly. I was left wanting more. (2.5/5 stars)
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    Gripping, heartbreaking, emotional page turner!

    Gripping, heartbreaking, emotional page turner! Wow! I couldn't stop reading this book! I was hooked! This book has drama written all over it! Vicky Hall, young college student who graduates and goes on a two-week holiday to Corfu and decides never to come back home. She is disappointed that her mother couldn't make it to graduation, and coming to a conclusion that her family is better off without her, she decides to make a life-altering decision to stay away. While away, Vicky is swept away by William, and both thinking they can live in sheer bliss forever, has to return to reality of real life after Vicky starts to have a complicated pregnancy. Once back in William's home, Barbara, William's mom pseudo-adopts Vicky as apart of the family, and helps her throughout the pregnancy and birth. However, once the baby arrives, all hell breaks loose. Vicky, unable to cope with the rigors of family drama, motherhood, and expectations, she decides that her son is better off without her. She disappears when her son is 2 years old, and lives a nomadic-type lifestyle for 6 years. However, in a twisted turn of events, her son is back in her life for good and she now has to answer to the call of motherhood once again, uncertain, guilty, and ashamed for running off in the first place. Vicky also struggles with her relationship, or lack of relationship with her mother, and is trying to figure out how to get back. Simultaneously, she lands a job where she meets Caro, another mother, who also has a strained relationship with her daughter. Here we see manipulation, bitterness, pure evil, unforgiving attitudes, and how perception can lead to estrangement. Through Vicky, Barbara, Caro, and India, we find out how tough and stressful motherhood can be. We also see how the relationships with mothers go wrong, how preconceived notions determine the health of the relationships, and we see the sacrifices mothers make for their kids, whether for good or bad. This book was definitely a page turner with sharp twists and unexpected surprises. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and seeing how Vicky managed her life and motherhood despite trying to run from responsibility for most of her adult life. The ending of this book was pretty open-ended, leaving the reader to imagine what happens next. One thing I would mention is that I thought the book had some time gap issues, but overall, pretty solid novel! I would definitely read this again and recommend to others. This book is a 4. Thank you to Net Galley, Kerry Fisher and Bookouture for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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    Brilliantly relatable

    I have fallen into loving Kerry’s books! The unexpected twists, & relatable subjects, keeps me page turning! Never stop delving into those hard subjects of people & family dynamics.
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    Gloriously Emotive

    Deciding to indulge my loves of romantic suspense and family drama once again, I chose to read The Mother I Could Have Been - Kerry Fisher's latest release. I had no expectations going into this, being very much a Kerry Fisher novice, and it was a lovely surprise and such a pleasure that I enjoyed this story so much. Vicky Hall grew up believing herself to be the least important person in her new step-family, ignored by her mother in favour of her two younger half-siblings. Always an afterthought and sitting alone at her graduation ceremony at the age of twenty-one, she vows to create her own family and her own life, one which is full of the love and attention she has always craved. When Vicky takes a holiday in Greece that summer she decides to stay, meets William and falls pregnant, though it isn’t planned. The couple believe they can make their relationship work, so William takes Vicky back to his family home in the UK. They decide to stay there until they can afford to buy a home of their own. They have a son they name Theo and at last, Vicky feels complete as they shower their child with love which they hope will be enough. When Theo is two, Vicky leaves him in the care of Barbara, her mother-in-law, walks out of her front door and drives to a hotel where she takes a room for the night. She doesn’t return. Told from the viewpoints of Vicky and Caro (one of Vicky’s many employers), this was an amazing read. When a new chapter opens in Vicky’s life, she finds solace in the company of Caro, her husband Gilbert and their son, Fergus. But they have their own trials and tribulations, in the form of their daughter, the thorny, awkward and demanding India. Another family with divisions no one sought yet existed primarily because of India's jealousy, immaturity, and emotional blackmail. I loved Kerry Fisher's overall writing style and glorious characterisation and the story was meaningful, endearing and totally absorbing. Satisfying and ultimately hopeful, it was a cracking good read that brought no disappointments. I am looking forward to reading some of Kerry's other work, probably starting with 'The Woman I Was Before'. The Mother I Could Have Been is very highly recommended to those who like reading contemporary fiction with a good dose of realism. I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my request, from Bookouture via NetGalley and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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    The Mother I could a Have Been

    This book spoke to me at this exact time. It was eerie that so many points touched my heart as deep as they did, as I read on it also gave me many more understandable moments. Thank you Kerry Fisher for writing and sharing a book that touches on real life, real family dynamics, and real feelings.
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