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Mother of Pearl

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  161 Ratings  ·  54 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
Paperback, 303 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Abingdon Press
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Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, own, 2012
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
I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
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
Lisa B.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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,
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Ane Mulligan
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Carole Jarvis
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:
Holly Morey
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am not really sure what it is about this book that I didn't like. To me it was predictable and the characters were just too perfect, everyone except Barrie. Pearl is the perfect daughter until she sees her boyfriend with her best friend. Barrie is the perfect school councilor, though she doesn't like the football coach, until "the accident". Steve is the perfect husband and Aaron is the perfect son. The concept of the story was good, I just wasn't impressed with the book.
Victor Gentile
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Andi Newberry ~Tubbs
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Julie Kibler
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 07, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Clara Roberts
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the most compelling novel I have read in a long time. I rarely read novels. The author made this story so real. A sexual predatory coach is so successful that he moves from school to school leaving behind championship teams and high school girls he has seduced. After he seduces and impregnated the high school counselor's daughter and then the daughter dies in a traffic accident, the mother makes it her life's work to stop this coach. She has to take on her family, the school, the school ...more
Lynne Gentry
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
From the first page until the last, debut author Kellie Coates Gilbert takes the reader into the heart of a broken mother with the skill of a seasoned pro. This tale told from the first person point of view of high school counselor Barrie Graeber is full of unexpected surprises. As a former trial paralegal, Gilbert excels at the courtroom scenes. With the ease of Jodi Picoult, Gilbert addresses headline issues then twists the heart strings with a Cassandra King emotional punch. Looking forward t ...more
Lisa Buffaloe
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
The premise of this book is compelling. A mother who grieves over her daughter and fights to right the wrongs committed against her. The story seemed well researched and there was a fair amount of suspense and tension, but I just couldn't get into it. Mine is only one of many other reviews, most of which I've found are positive.
Julie Cosgrove
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Linda Rowland
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Another example of the writing getting better when the author got to something known. It is difficult to say why but early on it is uncomfortably awkward writing. Predictable but many books are. Mother has a awful lot of missed opportunities to figure out what happened.
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Lyndie Blevins
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Paula  Phillips
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Christian Fiction Addiction
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing

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,
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kay M
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
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
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Kellie Coates Gilbert has won readers’ hearts with her compelling and highly emotional stories about women and the relationships that define their lives. A former legal investigator, she is especially known for keeping readers turning pages and for creating nuanced characters who seem real.

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