Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Someone Not Really Her Mother by Harriet Scott Chessman (a review)

Someone Not Really Her Mother by Harriet Scott ChessmanSomeone Not Really Her Mother by Harriet Scott Chessman is a gem of a novel that deserves to be savoured slowly, although I confess I read it all in one gulp. It’s the story of a woman whose present is unravelling (she’s suffering from dementia) as it blends with a tragic past she’s never talked about before. Little by little, her daughter and two granddaughters fill in some of the missing pieces (and the reader fills in some of the rest). This is a stunning book—the segments written from the grandmother’s point of view are particularly moving. My only disappointment was that the back cover blurb led me to believe we would follow the journey of the granddaughter who goes back to France, but that’s a minor complaint. Harriet Scott Chessman is definitely an author I will be keeping an eye on.

This was one of my favourite books in 2008.

Visit this blog for another review:
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?

(First posted on LibraryThing on February 25, 2008)


  1. Followed your link from Library Thing! Thanks for this review - my grandmother suffers from dementia so this would be a good read for me.

  2. I hope you enjoy the book. Note that it has more of the feel of a novella than a novel (at only 176 pages).

  3. Also followed your link from LT, congrats on your new site! I'm going to add [Someone Not Really Her Mother] to my TBR pile.

  4. The book sounds great, and I see from your comment it's a novella...even better! I can read it in one sitting, which is very satisfying. :D

  5. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response to my novel, Someone Not Really Her Mother! It's funny, about my character Ida; my editor also wanted me to follow her further, see what happened to her in Paris . . . I love creating an architecture and then sticking to it, and yet this interest in Ida reminds me that sometimes it's good to break one's own design to follow the heat of a story.