I really enjoyed The Mother Fault, as much for the journey as the dystopian setting of a near-future Australia.
Fast-paced and easy to read, I chewed through this story in two sittings.
Mildenhall manages to weave everyday parenting challenges – loss of identity, nostalgia for pre-natal careers, maintaining a marital relationship in the face of the relentlessness that is life with young children – with a future Australia where Big Brother really is watching every step of the way.
Mim’s desperate attempts to keep herself and her children safe from a state that wants to silence them take the reader on a journey from city to farm to coast and then up north right through to Darwin. I loved that they drove past miles upon miles of solar farms as they approached Darwin.
Then we got to go sailing!
And yes, I know, there are themes in the novel that are very important and worth noting, but if you want to read this novel purely as a thriller, then it works on that level too.
From the blurb:
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.