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Monday, November 27, 2017

The Good Mother by Kim Lock - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Fairlie is devastated when she loses her best friend Jenna. Fairlie knew something wasn't right with her friend, but never expected Jenna to die. Even though Fairlie's been told exactly what happened, Jenna's death feels suspicious and Fairlie is worried about Jenna's son Henry. He's a young boy and leaving him with Ark, his father, makes her uncomfortable. However, there isn't much she can do. Why did Jenna die and what was she hiding?

When Fairlie receives a letter from Jenna that was sent before she died Fairlie knows she has to do something for her friend. Even though Jenna isn't there anymore Fairlie can still do her very best to uncover the truth. While trying to find out more she discovers past secrets that change everything she thought she knew. A mother's love for her child can go far, really far. What will Fairlie do with her knowledge and how will it change the way she lives her life?

The Good Mother is a fantastic gripping story. I was immediately intrigued by Jenna and her mysterious circumstances. It's clear from the start something's seriously wrong in her life. My heart ached for her and I read her story with tears in my eyes. Jenna used to be carefree and fun and she and Fairlie had such a wonderful warm friendship. It broke my heart to see the changes and I was anxious to figure out what caused them. Fairlie is a kindhearted person with so much love to give and she and Jenna had a perfect connection. I was curious to find out more about their friendship and Jenna's relationship with her family and their story kept me on the edge of my seat.

Kim Lock knows how to build tension. She skillfully delivers plenty of surprises to her readers and I loved every single one of them. The Good Mother is a strong story about friendship, family, being a mother and love. There's sadness, grief and destruction as well as hope and goodness. I loved the contrasts, was intrigued by the secrets and couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out the truth. I love it when a book manages to captivate me from beginning to end. The Good Mother is an amazing story and I highly recommend it.


If you love original gripping thrillers The Good Mother would be an excellent choice.

About Kim Lock

Kim Lock was born in Mount Gambier in the 1980s. In her early twenties she moved to Darwin, where she spent several years as a senior graphic designer for the Northern Territory’s top advertising agency. As always, she wrote—but she kept it to herself.

After living in Darwin, Melbourne and Canberra, Kim returned to South Australia, where she lives in the Barossa Valley with her partner and children.

Inspired by a fascination with the tales that develop behind closed doors, Kim’s fiction explores the stories that shape people’s lives, but that they hide from society.

Kim qualified as a breastfeeding counsellor when her first child was young, and has volunteered supporting parents in this role for almost ten years. She has a particular passion in activism for women’s rights in pregnancy, birth and motherhood.

Kim Lock's debut novel, Peace, Love and Khaki Socks, was released by MidnightSun Publishing in 2013. Her second novel was selected to participate in the QWC/Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program 2013 and was released by Pan Macmillan Australia titled Like I Can Love in March 2016. (Titled as The Good Mother with Little Brown, UK and Random House, Germany.) Her writing has also appeared in, amongst others, Kill Your Darlings, The Guardian, Daily Life, and The Sydney Morning Herald online.

In between writing, Kim works as a freelance graphic designer. Kim's third novel, The Three of Us, will be published by Pan Macmillan Australia in 2018.




1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I’m in my mid-thirties, I live with my partner and two kids. I am happiest when I’m outside in nature. I love tea and don’t like bananas. My pet rabbit eats all my draft manuscripts. (Or sometimes I use them as garden mulch.)

2) Could you describe the main characters of The Good Mother in six words each?

Fairlie: Hiding from her own unanswered questions
Jenna: Ultimately, is she a reliable narrator?
Ark: There’s more to him than seems
Evelyn: Steely façade hides a guilty interior

3) You’ve lived in many different places in Australia, what have you learned from moving around so much and where’s home?

I grew up in a conservative town in the country, where conforming and ‘fitting in’ was seen as important. Although I didn’t realise this until, at 20, I moved to tropical Darwin, where everyone was friends with everyone, and it was too hot to care what anyone else thought! Melbourne introduced me to the beautiful anonymity of a large, cosmopolitan city (and I gathered quite a collection of knee-high boots); Canberra is where my children were born, and I met some amazing like-minded women. I feel a little piece of home in every place I’ve lived – friends, favourite take-away or cafes, parks or nature reserves. But South Australia is always home. I am glad to be living here again now, currently in the beautiful Barossa Valley.

4) How does getting to know your country so well influence your writing?

Australia is so enormously spread out – and its cities, rural areas and cultures so varied – I couldn’t claim to know the country well at all! But each area I have lived in has left a mark on me in some way, and I often feel nostalgic for a certain place. Writing landscapes, sights, smells and weather allows me to return to places I’ve loved, and pay a sort of homage.

5) You write about secrets, things that are being hidden for many different reasons, what’s the most interesting thing about this and how do you explore the whole range of emotions that come with it?

Humans are complex and endlessly unique creatures, and our relationships equally so, yet socially we have a rather narrow description of what we promote as ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’. I find this so intriguing, fascinating, and heart-breaking. A little empathy goes a long way.

6) You are passionate about women’s right in motherhood, birth and pregnancy, how did you discover this passion and how does it influence your daily life?

When I had my first child, I began to realise how our social ideals of pregnancy, birth and motherhood infrequently fit with women’s actual experiences and feelings. One only needs to look at the deepest divisions on social media or in parliament to see how women’s reproductive and maternal rights are an issue that is still not seen as individual but collective. This public sense of ownership of women’s bodies affects everyone, every day, in every way.

7) You’re a writer and graphic designer, what’s the best thing about the combination of these two creative professions?

Designing book covers!

8) What’s the best thing about writing books about interesting women?

The opportunity to explore more deeply my own ‘what ifs’, and learn about the experiences of other women.

9) In The Good Mother you write about complex relationships, how do you get to the bottom of those difficult connections?

By listening. Women are crying out to have their stories heard, and we live in an age now where the internet makes that possible. Listening to women’s voices – and believing them – is a humbling, painful and enriching experience.

10) What are your plans for the future?

My next novel, THE THREE OF US, will be released in Australia and New Zealand in February 2018, so I’m currently undertaking the last round of proofreading! I also have a new novel that I’ve begun playing around with . . .

Thank you for these great questions, it has been fun chatting with you!


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Good Mother by Kim Lock.

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 fantastic, gripping story.

  2. Definitely an interesting and intriguing book, I probably won't be able to put it down until the very end. :-)

  3. Would love to win this book for my Mum, who reads a lot.

  4. This looks like just my sort of read!!!

  5. This sounds like my type of book, a really page turner with lots of secrets to reveal.

  6. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing it.

  7. A very intriguing title and cover!

  8. Kim Lock is a new author to me and I look forward to reading her stuff.

  9. Kim, your book sounds so interesting. I'd love to read it and also look forward to The Three Of Us.

  10. The book sounds really amzing. I would love to read it.

  11. Curious about what will happen in the book.

  12. I'm intrigued my Jenna's suspicious death.