the mother fault book review by duffythewriter

“An Australian dystopian novel with themes that hit very close to home” – Duffythewriter

Mim’s husband is missing. No one knows where Ben is, but everyone wants to find him – especially The Department. And they should know, the all-seeing government body has fitted the entire population with a universal tracking chip to keep them ‘safe’.

But suddenly Ben can’t be tracked. And Mim is questioned, made to surrender her passport and threatened with the unthinkable – her two children being taken into care at the notorious BestLife.

Cornered, Mim risks everything to go on the run to find her husband – and a part of herself, long gone, that is brave enough to tackle the journey ahead.

From the stark backroads of the Australian outback to a terrifying sea voyage, Mim is forced to shuck off who she was – mother, daughter, wife, sister – and become the woman she needs to be to save her family and herself. 

Duffy’s Thoughts on The Mother Fault

I was hesitant about The Mother Fault. We’ve all been through a bloody tough year. The devastating bush fires seem an age ago and the COVID-19 pandemic has ripped away livelihoods, added anxiety, pressure and depression to households and taken away all the fun things in life.

So, when I read the book jacket for The Mother Fault, I thought “do I really want to put myself through a dystopian novel which has a gentle nod to The Handmaid’s Tale?

Well, I gave it a crack anyway, and I quite enjoyed the ride, even though the themes are fun from fun. Mim, her husband Ben and two kids, live in a dystopian Australia where the land is beyond repair fro fracking, floods and rising sea levels play havoc with coastal areas, and the farming industry is basically non-existent. Ben works for a big corporation and is working on a secret project in Indonesia when he suddenly goes missing.

The search for Ben is not as straightforward or as simple as it first seems. Australia is ruled by ‘The Department’ and Australians are chipped at birth to be kept on track. If you come off the straight and narrow or fall foul of ‘The Department’ you and your family are sent off to secretive BestLife centres.

The plot unfolds in the search for Ben at breakneck speed and Kate Mildenhall has a wonderful way with words to draw you in and then smack you in the face with a twist at the end. However, I have to confess, I couldn’t relate to Mim at all and I found her quite selfish, scattered and annoying at times.

Luckily, I did like the character of Essie, Mim’s young daughter. I found it incredibly interesting to follow Essie, who grew into a young teenager as the plot unfolded and had her own struggles of understanding that something was going on, secrets were being kept, but finding it incredibly difficult to convey.

The Mother Fault is a great read if you want to really lose yourself in a good book for a few hours. However, you might want to wait a while if you are suffering from anxiety and general overwhelm about the world as we know it today.

the mother fault
The Mother Fault is available from Booktopia and all good bookstores