Mother of Pearl
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Mother of Pearl

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Barrie Graeber has two great kids, a loving husband, and a respected job as the high school counselor in her close-knit community. Without warning, everything unravels when her teenage daughter, Pearl, is betrayed by friends and lashes out.

Nothing prepares this mother for the helplessness that follows when her attempts to steer her daughter back on course fail and Pearl sh...more
Paperback, 303 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Abingdon Press
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Lisa B.
Do you ever start a book and think - ok, I know what this is going to be about? Well, I did that with this book and got it totally wrong!

It was interesting to read the different reactions to what happened to Pearl. I liked the way Barrie fought for her daughter even though everyone was telling her to let it go. She just knows something is not right and refuses to give up on finding the truth.

I think at it’s heart, this book is about having faith even during times of struggle. A long time ago,...more
Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading)
Oh, I loved this book! Just as the summary says, it is emotionally riveting and profoundly moving. I cried and cried while reading Mother of Pearl (outright crying while reading is a rare thing for me). I was sitting on my couch during my baby's nap time, with a box of tissues next to me. The book was just so moving, I could not hold the tears in. I don't think I would have been so affected, but for the fact that I am a mother now and could really identify with Barrie. That's not to say that Mot...more
Ane Mulligan
Heart-wrenching yet filled with grace and hope, Kellie Coates Gilbert's Mother of Pearl is beautifully written and a book that needs to be read by everyone with a child or grandchild. Novel Rocket and I give it a high recommendation.
Just to add a bit of background -- this is my cousin's book :) I find it difficult to review it because of that; not because we're super close or anything, but because the author is no longer a distant idea of a person, but a real, tried-hard-to-make-this-thing-perfect writer. I hate to hurt anyone's feelings, and I know how I feel when I'm critiqued on something I worked hard on.

I worried about the Christian aspect of it, not because I'm not religious but because I don't read Christian fiction...more
Victor Gentile
Kellie Coates Gilbert in her new book, “Mother of Pearl” published by Abingdon Press brings us into the life of Barrie Graeber.

From the back cover: “The day my precious Pearl entered this world, I said goodbye to my heart. It would not be the last time.”

School counselor Barrie Graeber’s world shatters when her teenage daughter sneaks out in the middle of the night and is killed in an automobile accident. Amidst her grief, nothing prepares her for the news that Pearl was pregnant at the time of h...more
Kristie Kercheval
Although I put this on my Christian fiction shelf, it is different than others I have read in that genre. The main character, Barrie, is a mother who struggles to have hope as she deals with the tragedy of losing her teenage daughter. This book deals with the topic of grief and justice. I got carried away with Barrie as she mourns the loss of Pearl. I thought I could just read a quick chapter on my kindle after I turned out the lights for night. But no, I had to keep reading, as tears were runni...more
Andi Newberry ~Tubbs
Barrie has a great family, and a respected job as a high school counselor. Her life is just puttering a long until one night her daughter Pearl is betrayed by her best friend, Callie and boyfriend, Craig.
Pearl goes from being the outgoing, smiling, teenage daughter that Barrie knew to withdrawing from the family, sneaking out at night, drinking, becoming a stranger.
Barrie has no idea what has happened to her daughter, but she is determined to find out!
Barrie's determination causes a huge rift w...more
Pearl's mother is Barrie, a high-school guidance counselor. Guidance counselors, as you know, see teenagers at their best and their worst, all the while working with them for their best possible future.

Barrie's daughter Pearl is seventeen-years-old. She is betrayed by her boyfriend. Then she withdraws from her family. Barrie says "Mothering is not for cowards." I chuckled, how true!

Barrie also rationalizes "Teenagers are supposed to begin withdrawing from their parents at this age. It's all part...more
Julie Kibler
I received an advance read through Net Galley. Debut novelist Kellie Coates Gilbert delivers a compelling story about a topic we'd mostly prefer to ignore, but can't and shouldn't. Gilbert's writing is smooth and engaging, and she explores touchy and emotional issues with grace. As a mother of teenagers, I found myself with a big lump in my throat on more than one occasion while reading. While MOTHER OF PEARL is from a Christian publisher, the characters are flawed and human and Gilbert's story...more
Lisa Buffaloe
Barrie Graeber seems to have it all, two wonderful children, a loving husband, and a respected job as a high school counselor. When her daughter, Pearl, is betrayed by friends, Pearl withdraws from friends and family. As Barrie’s life unravels she must fight for justice, even as others chose to tolerate harmful behavior for their own gain.

Debut novelist, Kellie Coates Gilbert has birthed a beautifully written novel. Kellie’s background as a paralegal and legal investigator take the reader behind...more
Mother of Pearl is an interesting story about commitment to family and staying true to one’s self. The author tackled some difficult themes—accountability, forgiveness, and regeneration—to name a few. I liked the way she handled the fact that neither families, nor individuals are rarely what they seem.

When teenager, Pearl, meets with what appears to be a typical, teen-age crisis, we are drawn into the family dynamics and how it affects the family as a whole and also, each individual. As later e...more
Julie Cosgrove
Mother of Pearl is written in first person present- and Kellie does it masterfully. The characters are so real you can touch them, and her descriptions put you right there in each scene. Nothing is sugar-coated or too preachy. Every mom (and dad)who has teenagers, had teenageers or is about to have a teenager should read this story.
This book ranks among my favorites! It was compelling and relevant, hard to put down. This was Kellie's debut novel and I hope she continues to write on this level. Highly recommended.

My review says it all:
I think there's the potential for a great story here, but it felt disjointed to me. There were several story lines that were picked up and then dropped. Still, the main character is likeable and the story is suspenseful.
Paula  Phillips
Have you ever judged a book by it's cover and thought hmm that looks like a good book but then once you get into you realise that you are in for a ride because the content of the story is far grittier than you ever imagined ? That's what happened to me with Mother of Pearl, from the cover it looks like quite a posh- upperclassmen novel as we see a mother in a suit and the greens of a field and a rugby ball to the side. Mother of Pearl first introduces us to school guidance counsellor Barrie and...more
I honestly do not know how to review this book. I was blow away while reading. I could have finished this book in one sitting. However, I got to one part of this book crying so much I had to stop reading. I laid this book aside for about two weeks and picked it back up. I finished the book but my heart ached. I do not know how the author was able to do it but I became Barrie while reading. I could actually picture myself doing the same thing to protect my child.

This book should be necessary rea...more
This is the perfect book description. It draws you in without telling you anymore of what lies between the pages – a wonderful, heart-breaking, riveting story that draws you in completely. Sometimes that’s bad, but with Mother of Pearl, that is perfect, because those that you tell you much more just leaves you less to discover on your own.

I had downloaded this book from NetGalley in order to review it and decided to open it one day. I read the whole thing. In one day. At the expense of my other...more
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Mother of Pearl
By Kellie Coates Gilbert

How far would you go for your child?

In the drive to win at all costs is there ever a time when the cost is too high? Barrie Graeber is about to find out.

As a high school counselor Barrie tries to guide and advise the students in career choices. But her authority is being undermined by football coach Michael Warren. And worse yet the school is unwilling to follow Barrie's suggestions as long as Coach Warren is winning.

Pearl Graeber is the perfect daughter a...more
Barrie and Steve Graeber have a wonderful life together: a solid marriage, two great kids and jobs that they enjoy. But their life is turned upside down when daughter Pearl catches her boyfriend cheating with her best friend. Barrie watches helplessly as Pearl's life begins to unravel, she becomes withdrawn and pulls away from the close loving relationship that they had once shared. Barrie doesn't know how to cope when she learns that Pearl has been drinking and driving and keeping a dark secret...more
Barrie and Steve have it all -- great jobs, a nice home, and two beautiful children. Although Barrie deals with people's problems all day with her work as a guidance counselor, she's not quite prepared for what happens when disaster hits unexpectantly and a little bit closer to home.

Barrie's daughter Pearl is known for being attractive, popular, and kind -- but things go quickly downhill after Pearl catches her adoring boyfriend blatantly cheating on her. As Pearl becomes more withdrawn, edging...more
Mother of Pearl is a great story and it's hard to believe this is the author's debut novel - it is very well written. I was immediately drawn into the story and was able to read it in one sitting. However, a couple of things in the book First, the way Barrie's husband wouldn't listen to anything she had to say about a certain thing she believed happened to her daughter and would get angry at her for even trying to figure it out. Second, when Barrie sees someone she believes is in t...more
Aislynn (Stitch Read Cook)
Barrie’s life is about to be completely turns upside down and nothing can prepare her for the devastation and pain her family is about to go through. The mother of two, wife, and friend – she feels like an outcast when she stands up for her daughter amid the chaos.

It is so hard to put into words how this book made me feel. It was an emotional rollercoaster that had me bawling me eyes out and wishing I could give Barrie a big hug. The synopsis says the story is emotionally riveting and profoundly...more
Oct 10, 2012 Alicia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
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Christian Fiction Addiction

I love discovering new authors, especially when they can produce a debut book as good as this one! Gilbert has written a book featuring beautifully realized characters, a book that draws you in early and keeps you turning the pages. Books featuring characters who are grieving always run the risk of become plodding and slow as the character slowly moves through the stages of grief - but Gilbert avoids that in this book. Despite featuring deep subject matter, the book moves along well throughout,...more
Lyndie Blevins
Mar 08, 2013 Lyndie Blevins rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone enjoys contemporary fiction
Recommended to Lyndie by: Kellie Coates Gilbert
I was attracted to this book because...

A critique friend wrote this book. The book was finished before I joined the critique group. I am reading more Christian fiction, particularly contemporary fiction. I’m always looking for good books to read.

This book was about...
A Iowan family with a teenage daughter. I can’t imagine anything more difficult than mothering a teenage daughter, except also being her high school counselor. Throw into the mix a recent recognition by your peers as an outstandi...more
To say I loved this book is an understatement!

I do not often read contemporary fiction...I really love historical...but I am SO GLAD I read this book.

My only chance to read lately is when I run on the treadmill and use my iPad to didn't take long for me to want to extend my running sessions b/c I didn't want to get off! This book captivated me. The writing is so intimate and the storyline hits you hard!

I'm not going to go into what actually happens in the can read the...more
I picked this up from the recently returned shelf at the library and I didn't know what to expect. The book was better than I anticipated. There was a bit of a mystery to the storyline which kept my interest.

What happened to these characters was horrible and preventable but not unrealistic.

The contrast in maternal figures was very interesting. I also liked the neighbor, Jackie. She was a calming, grounding presence.

I do have to say that Barrie, the main character, complaining that her husband...more
Cheryl D
*Disclaimer- I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway*

A fabulous book that had me staying up way too late to finish it. Great writing, characters and plot. The only criticism I have is that I wish Barrie had found the jewelry box in her daughter's closet and was able to trace down the purchaser. I thought the lawyer doing it came out of nowhere so it made it a little unrealistic. That said, this is a very impressive debut from a talented writer.

Mother of Pearl is the debut novel of contemporary women's fiction author, Kellie Coates Gilbert. Barrie Graeber, mother of two, is a high school counselor. She deals with teen issues--AND a frustrating football coach on a daily basis, but when her daughter Pearl is betrayed by close friends, Barrie struggles with how to help her. Pearl's behavior brings unthinkable consequences, and in the midst of dealing with that, Barrie learns the coach is much worse than she originally thought.

This is one...more
This book was in one word, riveting. I would have read it all in one sitting, if I could have spared the time.

I could relate to so many aspects of this story, as a mother, a daughter, a friend - the characters were completely believable and easy to identify with. I really liked the pace at which the author allowed this story to play out. Not too fast, not too slow; in my opinion, it was perfection, and most definitely did not read like a debut novel. I could not stop turning pages to find out wh...more
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