Have you ever tried to be the perfect Mother?
A timeless story of mothers and daughters with a razor-sharp 21st century twist, this heart-wrenching debut for fans of Jodi Picoult, Jane Shemilt and The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas will make you question how you and your family spend time online
Isabel Murrow is precariously balancing her career and her family. Hard-working and caring, worried but supportive, all Isabel wants, in a perilous world of bullies and temptations, is to keep her daughter Phoebe safe. Phoebe has just attempted suicide. She says it is Isabel’s fault.
Saving Phoebe Murrow is a timely tale about an age-old problem – how best to raise our children, and how far to go in keeping them from harm. Set amidst the complicated web of relationships at the school gate, it tells a story of miscommunication and malice, drugs and Facebook, prejudice and revenge.
I received this book from NetGalley and Upper Hand Press in exchange for an honest review.
When I read the synopsis of this story I was immediately interested. Being a new mother, I am worried about bullying. Not that she’ll be bullied now but in the future. As her mother I will always want to protect her, but would I go so far as to sabotage and torture another child to ensure my daughter is happy and popular?
Saving Phoebe Murrow, by Herta Feely, is a book that every human being should read. This story is about the hardships of being a teenager in a world where people have constant contact. There is no going home and forgetting about it at the end of the night. The lives of teenagers and even adults now is all over the internet for everyone to see. We post updates on our Facebook pages, upload photos to Instagram, tweet our anger at politicians on Twitter because that is what is expected in a 24 hour world.
Phoebe is grappling with a traumatic bullying experience from the year before that ended in her seeing a therapist for self-mutilation. Cutting her skin was the only way in her mind to deal with a devastating set of events that ruined her life. It was the only escape from the pain and torment from people she thought were her friends.
But this is a new year and a new school. Phoebe has worked hard all summer to learn new ways to deal with the intense emotions that come with being young and overwhelmed by how large all the problems in her tiny world seem. She has new friends and her crush, Noah, from the previous year is also in her class this year.
Herta Feely is an exceptional writer. Her story had me engrossed from the beginning. I was somehow Phoebe, her mother, and her friends all rolled into one. I felt the emotions coming off the page when Phoebe wanted more than anything to hang out with friends in a part of town her mother deemed unacceptable. I was her mother, understanding why she wouldn’t want her daughter in a place that was unknown to her. I was her friends, rolling my eyes and not understanding why Phoebe’s mom was so uptight.
This story unfolds and opens your eyes to how much harder it is to be a teenager in a world that is 24/7. Where there is no privacy from anyone or anything. The events that happen through this story seem so far-fetched but were actually based on real life. On what happens when a parent is so hyper focused on their child. The perceived hurt their child has endured become something so real that they are willing to endanger another child, regardless of the outcome.
I didn’t know how this book would end and can tell you I was not only surprised but very pleased with its conclusion. With my feelings on high by the last page it is not where I would have gone and that was surprising to me. It made me step back and really think about just how much my own emotions clouded such simple judgement.
Order your copy of the amazing book today and share it with everyone you know!