A Good Mother : A Novel
On Sale Date: May 11, 2021
$16.99 USD, $21.99 CAD
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A gripping page turner about two young mothers, one grisly murder, and the lengths both women will go in the name of their children.
When young decorated combat veteran Travis Hollis is found stabbed through the heart at a U.S. Army base in Germany, there is no doubt that his wife, Luz, is to blame. But was it an act of self defense? A frenzied attempt to save her infant daughter from domestic abuse? Or the cold blood murder of an innocent man?
As the case heads to trial in Los Angeles, hard-charging attorney Abby Rosenberg is eager to return from maternity leave—and her quickly fracturing home life—to take the case and defend Luz. Abby, a new mother herself, is committed to ensuring Luz avoids prison and retains custody of her daughter. But as the evidence stacks up against Luz, Abby realizes the task proves far more difficult than she suspected – especially when she has to battle for control over the case with her co-counsel, whose dark absorption with Luz only complicates matters further.
As the trial careens toward an outcome no one expects, readers will find themselves in the seat of the jurors, forced to answer the question – what does it mean to be a good mother? A good lawyer? And who is the real monster?
This book has an interesting premise but unfortunately it was a little too heavy handed with the “bad mother” message/trope and it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. This book could have been a lot stronger if it had focused more on the courtroom and less on the personal lives of the characters. The characters in this book have very outdated ways of looking at women (mothers in particular) and make very questionable choices and infuriatingly, there was no real consequences for them. However, I really enjoyed the courtroom scenes and Bazelon did an incredible job of making the trial come to life. I loved the back and forth nature of the lawyers and how the witnesses helped to form our opinion of what really happened between Luz and her husband. If you are a fan of legal mysteries then this might be one that you will be interested in if you can get past all the other stuff happening outside the courtroom.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lara Bazelon is an attorney, journalist, MacDowell Fellow, former public defender, and professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she holds the Phillip and Muriel C. Barnett Chair in Trial Advocacy. She is also the author of Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction, as well as the upcoming nonfiction book, Ambitious Like a Mother: Women, Ambition, and Motherhood, and her writing has been published widely in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, The Washington Post, and many others.
Author website: https://larabazelon.com/
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Ramstein Air Base
“Front desk, Sergeant Jamison.”
“He was too big. I couldn’t get him off me. He told me I was going to die—[unintelligible]”
“Ma’am, where are you?”
“1074-B Arizona Circle. Call an ambulance. I need—”
“Okay, okay. I’ve got the EMT on the other line and the ambulance en route. Where are you hurt?”
“Ma’am, is that—is that a baby crying? Is that your baby?”
“Did he hurt the baby?”
“She’s—[unintelligible]—the other room. He was going to [unintelligible]”
“Okay, I reported the break-in. We are dispatching—security forces have been dispatched. Where is he now?”
“Ma’am, where is the intruder now?”
“He was stabbed. Oh, Jesus, oh, Jesus—[unintelligible]”
“What is the nature of the injury?”
“There’s so much blood—[unintelligible]”
“Ma’am, I can’t—I’m having trouble understanding you. I need for you to calm down so I can tell these guys what’s going on.”
“Where is he stabbed?”
“In his chest. He’s losing all of his blood.”
“The EMT is en route now.”
“Ma’am, could the intruder hurt you or the baby? Are you still in danger?”
“—an intruder. He’s— It’s Staff Sergeant—[unintelligible]”
“I’m having a hard time understanding you, ma’am. Take a breath. Take a breath.”
“Staff Sergeant Travis Hollis—”
“The intruder is—he’s—he’s military?”
“He’s my husband. He was stabbed. I stabbed him—[unintelligible]”
“Ma’am, ma’am, are you still there?”
“Travis, baby, don’t die on me. Please, don’t die.”
Excerpted from A Good Mother by Lara Bazelon, Copyright © 2021 by Lara Bazelon. Published by Hanover Square Press.