Jessamine Chan’s “clever and compelling” debut is set in a chillingly plausible dystopian America, Molly Young said in The New York Times. Frida Liu is a 39-year-old single mother with an 18-month-old daughter and a stressful job. One day she leaves her daughter at home unattended while she runs an errand.
Neighbors hear the baby crying and alert the police. Frida is sentenced to a year in an “experimental rehab facility” where women are molded to be better mothers by practicing their parenting skills on AI puppets. The school constantly scolds Frida for her actions: her kisses, say the teachers, “lack a fiery core of motherly love”.
It’s no surprise that this book has “made waves” in the US, Madeleine Feeny said in The Daily Telegraph: “Questions about how we define and value motherhood permeate contemporary culture”.
Beautifully clear and elegantly written, this is a must-read novel, said India Knight in The Sunday Times – “a The story of the maid for the 21st century”.
Hutchinson Heinemann 336 pages £12.99; The bookstore of the week £9.99
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https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/culture/books/955965/the-school-for-good-mothers-by-jessamine-chan-review The book review The School for Good Mothers