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Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Good Mother by Karen Osman - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Kate is a mother of two children. Because her husband struggles with work they don't have much money. She tries to give her daughters everything she can, but by being a devoted wife and mother she risks losing herself. To do something that's just for her, Kate joins a writing class. It's the start of a more exciting life, but also one that forces her to take more risks. Is this really a good idea?

Catherine takes care of her family and she works as a volunteer. She tries to be the best mother and wife she can be. Her grownup daughter is living at home and Catherine makes sure their life is as prefect as possible. When she starts writing to an inmate, another volunteer project, she doesn't share this information with her family. Catherine is writing to a murderer, is that a good plan?

Alison used to be one of the smartest girls of her school, but at university she's struggling. She doesn't easily understand all of her subjects and has to work hard. She does have some sort of social life, but being at university overwhelms her and this makes her unhappy. When one of her professors shows an interest in Alison her mood changes, but is it a good decision to become involved with him?

The Good Mother is a gripping story about three women who are keeping major secrets from everyone around them. Kate is lonely and underappreciated, she needs a confidence boost and something to give her purpose. Catherine is a proud woman, someone who knows what she's doing. However, writing to someone who committed murder and might soon be free changes her life in a drastic way and makes her closed off from everyone around her. Alison is lost at university. She's insecure, doesn't know how to balance studying and being free and is feeling depressed a lot. She's a young vulnerable student and my heart ached for her. I was equally captivated by each of the three stories and couldn't wait to find out more about the women and where their story would lead. Karen Osman kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

The Good Mother is a fantastic story filled with surprising twists and turns and a spectacular ending. Karen Osman kept me guessing until the last pages, which is exactly what I think a good thriller should do. She writes about complex relationships, abuse, heartbreak and internal struggles in a raw and honest way. The Good Mother is a compelling emotional story. I read this amazing book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down and highly recommend it.


If you love gripping thrillers about secrets filled with surprising twists and turns you should definitely read The Good Mother.

About Karen Osman

Originally from the UK, Karen won the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Montegrappa Novel Writing Award 2016 with her crime-thriller novel and now has a three-book deal with Head of Zeus. When she’s not writing novels, Karen is busy bringing up her two young children and running her communication business Travel Ink.



Guest Post

How I Wrote A Novel
By Karen Osman

The beauty of writing for a living is that you can write from anywhere. I live in Dubai and often write from home for example, but my agent and publisher are in the UK. Not being chained to a desk in a corporate environment is a dream of freedom for many of us (I’m currently typing this on my laptop in bed!) Yet, I soon learnt that such a relaxed approach to writing novels doesn’t get the job done. I normally consider myself a fairly disciplined and motivated person but it’s incredible how many distractions there are in your own home. Never has folding laundry being so enticing when you know you have at least 2000 words to write that day. Having been writing for clients for the last seven years and the last 18 months writing a novel as well, here are a few techniques I use to make sure I meet deadlines and get the job done.

1. Identify when your motivation is at its highest

First thing in the morning on the first day of the week is often when I get the most writing done. I feel refreshed and energized after the weekend so I make the most of this time by making writing the first thing I do before I do any other task. In order to avoid any distractions, I keep my to-do list next to me so I can make a note of it and forget about it until later. As I have a daily word target, I will often go beyond it when my motivation is high and that gives me a little leeway in case I have a bad day during the rest of the week.

2. Keep Editing To A Minimum Initially

It’s incredibly tempting to go back and continuously edit and re-edit your work but I try and avoid this, especially in the beginning. My motivation starts to climb along with my word count, so the more I write, the more I feel I can write. Of course, there are times when I write dribble, but if that’s the case, I will highlight it in red to flag that a particular section needs work at a later date.

3. Map Out Your Chapters

It’s amazing how many details you have to remember for a novel and how easy it is to become confused, especially if you’re switching between different time periods. By mapping out your chapters and creating character profiles, it becomes a useful reference tool to use so you have an idea what you’re supposed to be writing that day. There are various ways to do this – I simply use a notebook, but I know people who use Post It notes, mind maps, and even online systems to help plan their novel.

4. Have A Plan For When Your Motivation Is At It Lowest

If you’re like me, some days can be harder to write than others. Whether I’m distracted with other demands or simply lacking inspiration, a blank screen can be one of the most off-putting things for a writer. To address this, I made a list of back-up plans, my most favourite being to move to another location - a change of scene normally does the trick. Another option is to go for a walk or do some yoga – a writer’s life is fairly sedentary so even just ten minutes of movement can help. Finally, a good network of other authors is a great support. I set up a Facebook page to keep us all connected and share writing tips and techniques.

These are just some of the ideas that work for me. Every writer works differently though and I always love to hear hacks from other writers – please feel free to share.


Three very lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Good Mother.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. The Good Mother sounds like a gripping thriller with surprising twists and turns.

  2. I absolutely love this type of thriller, being a mother myself I can totally relate to a mother going to extreme lengths to protect her children.

  3. This looks like just my sort of read - added to my tbr pile!

  4. I really enjoyed reading the guest post, thank you!

  5. Sounds great can't wait to read it.

  6. Sounds really great! Added to my tbr! :)

  7. Now this sounds like a good thriller that brings on lots of suspense. My kind of story.

  8. My kind of book :) - J.Birkin

  9. Think it is fantastic that you write as well as being a busy mum would love to read your new book

  10. I know my best friend would love this book too, if I win, it's her christmas pressie!

  11. I love reading gripping psychological suspense books and will defintely read this one.

  12. I adore gripping, twisty thrillers and this looks like an incredible book! <3

  13. thrillers and suspense are my favourites sounds interesting

  14. I love the Cover ! I am looking forward to reading this book !

  15. How did you come up with the cover?

  16. I enjoyed reading about your writing process.

  17. thank you karen for the chance.

  18. The cover and the name of the book deceived me!

  19. Love these kind of books will have to look into trying them

  20. Karen, I look forward to reading your books. I enjoyed reading about how you write a novel!!!