Someone 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.
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(First posted on LibraryThing on February 25, 2008)