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Postcards from Berlin

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  318 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Catriona Lydgate is a housewife with two children and an adoring husband. But beneath the surface of her seemingly perfect life are the dark secrets of the past she's tried to forget. Disturbing postcards begin arriving in the mail; she is recognized by a man who knew her from her past-an avalanche of small moments that will threaten everything she thought was real. When h ...more
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published June 27th 2009 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2003)
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Feb 14, 2010 Vicki rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Jodi Piccoult, Diane Chamberlain
Shelves: general
I've been looking out for this book for a while now, after really enjoying The Drowning Girl written by the same author, Margaret Leroy.

The Perfect Mother tells the story of Cat and her eight year old daughter, Daisy. When Daisy's flu like symptoms carry on for weeks, worsening rather than improving, no-one is quite sure what is wrong. Doubt begins to be cast at Cat herself and whether it is her who is in fact responsible for Daisy's illness. But Cat is also hiding secrets of her own disturbing
I wish I understood why this book has two titles: “The Perfect Mother” and “Postcards from Berlin” – I think the first one is the most appropriate.

I enjoyed the story, but one thing bothered me: the way the doctors completely dismissed the mother and practically jumped on the verdict of Munchausen by Proxy. It was like a flash-diagnosis made on the fly with no real consideration of the facts. It felt like they just concluded it overnight and the story lost a bit of credibility for me at that poi
Mar 18, 2011 Elaine rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No
I was dissapointed with this book, it had a weird ending and didnt dig into the main character's past which I thought was very important in the story line, its left me feeling there were lots of empty spaces in the story that could have been filled.
I kept waiting for something to happen,.... then the book came to an end. I empathize with Catriona's frustration at having no one share her concerns for Daisy, not even Richard, her good-for-nothing husband. That she's suspected and almost flat out accused of harming her daughter, yet she fights (even if it's in an escapist's way) is pretty admirable,- seeing that he comes out as the helpless typical trophy wife kind. At least she doesn't just wring her hands and mourn about it. Reminds me of t ...more
Jessica D
I picked up this book after reading the jacket because it sounded like a scenario that I went through with my daughter a few years ago. As I read through (quickly since I couldn't put it down) I was amazed at the comparisons I saw in the main characters story and mine. Unbelieving doctors, an unsupportive partner and an air of disbelief from friends and family are all things I encountered in my real-life experience. The way Margaret Leroy captures Catriona's emotions throughout the book was wond ...more
"I realize I am happy: my body fluid and easy with the wine, my room hospitable, beautiful, this man with the Irish lilt in his voice approving of my picture; this is easy, this is how it should be."

Catriona Lydate, her husband Richard and their daughters Sinead and Daisy are entertaining a group of Christmas carolers in their home, when she meets Fergal. Fergal is very interested in one of Cat's paintings and straight off he's encouraging her work. The carolers include her best friend, Nicky, w
Dale Harcombe
This is the first Margaret Leroy book I have read and I will no doubt read another. It's always interesting to discover a new author.
This story of Catriona and her daughter Daisy who comes down with flu like symptoms that hang on and on, had me turning pages.But when she takes Daisy to the doctors and is referred to specialistt and psychiatrist who believe there is more going on, you are left wondering. It seems the more she tries to get help for Daisy, the worse things become as no-one believes
This was a completely engrossing book, and one I could not put down. There is something so completely compelling about Margaret Leroy's books that has me whizzing through the pages and eager to know what's going to happen.

Cat is a fantastic character, on one hand I found her so easy to relate to as a mother, and got completely involved and indignant at her treatment. On the other, there was doubt in my mind as to whether she is actually what she seems, and that feeling is drawn out right until t
Catriona had a troubled childhood. Her mother couldn't cope and sent her to live in an institution while she struggled to get her act together. The institution in which Catriona lived was run by an abusive man who know how to hit children so it wouldn't show. Catriona's past is something she has chosen to put behind her, to keep secret, from all except her husband. Cat's past comes in to play when her daughter Daisy becomes ill and doesn't respond to treatment. Doctor's suspect Munchausens's Syn ...more
Sallyann Van leeuwen
Catriona has a sick child. Daisy has been sick since she had the flu, unable to eat, too sick to go to school. Catriona visits many doctors who don't seem to take her seriously, give her this medicine, try this food etc. but Daisy is too sick to eat and retches up the medicine. Doctors start looking at potential ppsychological reasons, troubles in the home, or Munchausen by proxy syndrome, which starts to put the focus on catriona and her past, something she is desperate to avoid...

An interestin
This was a very enjoyable story. Margaret Leroy is such a great story teller and I love the way she writes. This book is no exception! You are able to go through the emotions that the main character went through and feel the anguish, confusion and ultimately the victory that she felt. I recommend it and look forward to reading more of Leroy's work!
I just finished this book, and it was pretty riveting. The main character, Catonia, is a mother to eight-year-old Daisy. When Daisy becomes ill and never seems to get better, Cat faces a frustrating and seemingly uphill battle against her husband, the doctors who suspect her of child abuse, and her own sad and rocky past. The author does a good job of giving the reader all the information as they need to know it; in this way she keeps the narrative compelling so that you want to read on and cann ...more
This was a bit of a page turner. I enjoyed it with reservations. I liked the main character Catriona, less and les as the story unfolded. I found it difficult to forgive the stupid way that she handled the whole thing even given her difficult past. I wanted to shake her more than once. Mind you I also wanted to shake Dr McGuire and that awful pyschiatrist. I liked the resolution and the fact that justice was done but hated the ending. Never end a book with a dream, it's such a cop out. No matter ...more
I wish I understood why this book has two titles: “The Perfect Mother” and “Postcards from Berlin” – I think the first one is the most appropriate.

I enjoyed the story, but one thing bothered me: the way the doctors completely dismissed the mother and practically jumped on the verdict of Munchausen by Proxy. It was like a flash-diagnosis made on the fly with no real consideration of the facts. It felt like they just concluded it overnight and the story lost a bit of credibility for me at that poi
Beth DuFault
After loving "The Soldier's Wife", I was anxious to read another Margaret Leroy novel. "Postcards from Berlin" was somewhat of a disappointment for me. I like Leroy's writing style a lot but I thought Cat was an insufferable character. I had a hard time feeling sympathy for her and I know I should have given her sad childhood. Many parts of the story were repetitive and drawn-out. The most compelling part of the story was the ending and her trip to Berlin to see her mother. I also wanted to lear ...more
Glenda L
I "think" I liked this book ... the author really kept me turning the pages. This is about a mother who is accused of some pretty bad stuff because her 8 year old daughter has been ill for weeks ... with what the doctors don't know. The woman's life unravels when the past she is trying to escape comes back to haunt her ... she has to fight to keep her daughter and expose her past. Her husband even turns against her. This is really a touching story. It is a thriller, an examination of parenting a ...more
As I read Postcards from Berlin, it occurred to me repeatedly that prior to the birth of my son, I would not have enjoyed the book at all. It would have seemed overwrought with forced drama; I would have thought the main character weak and ineffectual as a mother, as a wife, and as a woman. Let's call it "I have all the answers because I've not yet walked in your shoes" syndrome, then. From where I stand now, it's a quietly gripping story about the various ways in which life binds us, and the su ...more
I loved The Drowning Girl and was really looking forward to reading this one by the same author. Sadly, I found it a bit disappointing - there's none of the slightly supernatural elements of the other book, this is the straight telling of a mother with a sick child and the consequences of an accusation of Munchausens By Proxy. Perhaps I lack the mother gene that would have made this one "live" for me, but I didn't find Catriona particularly sympathetic and I found it a bit of a non-story. Easy e ...more
Nutty Mars
Great pictures painted. The rythm could have been a bit more alert, but maybe it was intentional, it kind of set a type of mood for the whole book. I loved her descriptions and comparisons and hung on every word towards the end. The ending felt natural, normal, even if it entailed a loss, a change. There's a type of beautiful resignation in the tone of the book that I think belongs to the author rather than the character, but it was fit for the story also.
All in all, lovely book with a good stor
I really enjoy Margaret Leroy's writing style-she keeps me enthralled page after page. I also found myself becoming very sad and angry for Cat's struggle with Daisy's various doctors and her preoccupied husband. Leroy's language and descriptions kept me so interested. It's funny, I seem to really be drawn to novels about families and their complicated relationships, and I just read something in which someone called these types of novels "domestic fiction." I quite like that :-)
Wonderful book, set in England and the tension pulled you through. Daisy, the 7 yo daughter is violently ill. But is it the mother making her sick, trying to be the perfect mother? Or is there something really wrong? Mom's childhood was a disaster, but she finally gets a clue for Daisy when she breaks down and finallly flies to Germany to see her mother and set her childhood memories and questions to rights.
absolutely loved it, parts of it almost had me in tears
Diana Baur
I enjoy Margaret Leroy's writing so much. I feel drawn to her characters and her writing style. Postcards from Berlin did not disappoint. I felt for the daughter, for the protagonist, and slowly started to intensely dislike the father. It brought out how well intentioned people can be so far off the mark by making decisions based upon their own history. Well done.
Avril Dalton
I'm afraid I just didn't like this book. The story had all the ingredients to make it a great read. However, i felt it so drawn out and very slow. In fact, I started skimming through just to find out what actually happens in the end. I think I should read another book by this author before I pass any judgement on my thoughts on the writer.
Val Wilkerson
Cat has a 9 year old daughter who is ill. The doctors don't seem to find any problem and are considering that it is all in her head The doctors start to wonder if Cat is deliberately making her child ill. Her husband is starting to question if their daughter Daisy is really ill or is her mother just to easy on her??? Its very well written.
Amber Jones
This book starts out slow and then gains momentum.

It's a story of a child who is ill and her daughter's doctors think it is psycholigical on the mother's part. They accuse her of suffereing from Munchausen's by proxy.

A good book with several twists and a bit of a nail bitter wondering what is going to happen with the daughter.
"Very touching story. A mother's fear about her youngest daughter's illness falls on deaf ears. It seems her secrets about her past almost work against her by becoming her witness and prosecutor while fighting for help in treating her daughter's mysterious illness, and as a result comes close to losing custody of her altogether. "
Lynne Radcliffe
I liked this book, but it started slowly. The story line of protective mother, ailing child, distracted husband and medical people who I felt were more judgmental than interested in discovering what was wrong with Daisy was interesting. This is the second book by Margaret Leroy. I like her other book more than this one.
Dec 14, 2011 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, suspense lovers, fiction lovers
Shelves: favorites
After reading The Soldier's Wife, I was excited to look for more of Leroy's novels. Postcards from Berlin is one of the most unpredictable, suspenseful books I have ever read. I never knew what was going to happen and my mouth dropped open when I figured it out. I can't recommend this book enough.
This book started slow and did pick up the pace towards the end. It's a story about the mother of an 8 year old girl who has a mysterious illness - and the mother is accused of Munchausens by proxy. A light read but I am now interested to read more by thios author - The Drowning Man.
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I grew up in the New Forest. As a child I wrote elaborate fantasy stories that I never showed to anyone. But around age 12 I stopped writing, and didn't start again till my mid-twenties.

(from the Biography page of her website)

I went to Oxford to study music, at St. Hilda's College. In my twenties I tried all sorts of things - music therapy, play-leading with children with disabilities, work in a
More about Margaret Leroy...
The Soldier's Wife Yes, My Darling Daughter The River House: A Novel The English Girl The Drowning Girl

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