Review: The Mother by Anya Mora


Print Length: 209 pages
Publisher: Joffe Books (September 20, 2023)

From A mother’s love is everything. And a mother will do anything to protect her own.

I see the A teenage boy from Port Rainier has been airlifted to Harbor Hill Hospital. Critical injuries.

My heart crawls up my throat and I grip the table. Lost for words. Tears fill my eyes. Ezra?

I already lost my husband to a tragic accident.
I can’t lose my son, too.

I call Ezra again, not wanting to believe the worst. That he hasn’t picked up because he’s the boy in hospital.

I race back to our house. Ezra’s in his room playing video games. His phone died. Relief washes through me. He’s okay.

Actually, it turns out the boy in the hospital is Ezra’s childhood friend. He was attacked and left for dead out on the clay fields.

The next day I go down to the basement to do laundry.

I know my stains. This is no ordinary stain. It’s blood. My teenage son’s dark denim blue jeans size 31x34, caked in orange clay and dark red blood.

Is my son a killer?


My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

As both a widow and a mother who struggled with raising teenagers (I had 2) after the loss of their husband,  I struggled with this one. On one hand I GET it. Everyone grieves differently, and I could empathize with Cora to a point. But the way that she just allowed herself to become so consumed by her grief that she couldn't even get out of bed and tend to her son was something I couldn't understand, nor get behind. That boy needed his mother and all she did was cry over what she had lost. I'm sorry, but being a mother has to come first. 

And then she finds blood and clay on her son's clothes the night after his best friend has been attacked. And what does she do? She washes his clothes and then confronts him, choosing to believe his far-fetched story on how he supposedly hurt himself even though she knows he's lying. I'm sorry. Maybe I'm just from a different walk of life, but if I thought one of my children had committed a heinous crime such as the one perpetrated here? I'm turning them in. They can explain the truth to the police. 

As others have pointed out, there were a lot of mentions of the church and religion, or more specifically Cora's desire to be rid of it altogether while her son longs for the familiarity of it. Again, if she had paid the slightest bit of attention to her son, she might have known that he needed what she did not. As it was, when he did make the choice to return to the youth group, Cora initially scoffed at the idea, proving that once again she was not going to be winning any mother of the year awards. 

However, I did enjoy reading Ezra's letters to his father at the start of every chapter. I feel like they really gave us some insight to him and how he was dealing with things in the wake of such a monumental tragedy, and it also helped to understand just how he ended up making the choices that he did. And the author's writing style was strong enough that even though I didn't agree with some of the actions and behaviors of the characters, I was still glued to the pages to see how things were going to unfold. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                                 The Mother is available on
                                             (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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