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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  229 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Guilt may be the most dangerous motive of all.

On a rainy night seventeen years after his wife's presumed suicide, Garrett Becker sees her walking down the street. A car accident snatches him away from this world before he can reach her.

Marina has spent her whole life mothering her brother, who suffers from an anxiety disorder. After their father's accident, they face losin
Paperback, 350 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Thomas Nelson (first published October 28th 2014)
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Rating details
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Dale Harcombe
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars.
I’m not usually a fan of novels told from a dead person or disembodied voice’s point of view, which this book is. Consequently it took me a while to get into this novel because I kept having trouble suspending disbelief. At times I wondered whether I might simply give up, and yet something would not let me. I wanted to see where it was going and so I became involved in the story of Marina and Dylan whose mother went missing when Dylan was a baby. Though her body was ever f
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Looking back through my Goodreads account I see that I have read two other books by Erin Healy, and marked them both fairly low in stars. I remember why now.

Motherless starts off very confusing. You aren't even quite sure what you are reading about. It's very other worldly, and delves into the spirit world throughout. But in such an odd way. This book is not religious at all, until the very end when there is one page mentioning God. Which means that this book will appeal to everyone, and yet may
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
“This is truth: we all tell the stories that we want to believe. We tell them for so long that we forget what we really know. Occasionally we convince others to believe them too.”

Motherless is the story of brother and sister, Marina and Dylan, who are coming to terms with the anticipated death of their father (he’s in an induced coma) having lost their mother many years earlier from an apparent suicide.

Marina, even though only a few years older than 16-year-old Dylan, has taken on many of the r
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Some of the most memorable novels are the ones that don't follow the structure we would expect. It's like watching the movie, "The Sixth Sense," yes the one about a young boy who can see dead people who seeks the professional help of Bruce Willis, who promises to help him. It isn't until we get to the very end of the movie, when everything we have been led to believe comes completely unraveled as the real plot is revealed. It makes you realize not everything is as it seems. That is just what Eri ...more
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Life is all about perception - what we choose to see and how we choose to see it. Why do two people see the same thing in two completely different ways? The reasons can come from many different factors, but in the end it is based on their choice. They each choose to see the same thing very differently. Believing in their heart that their choice is the correct one, they mold their life around that choice in order to make everything bend to it. Every fiber of their being yearns for conformity in o ...more
Erin Healy knows exactly how to lead us throughout the book, and follow the dramatic and moving story of a broken family.In this life full of lies, they must discover important values but the way it's not so easy to take.

Motherless is a unique story. It is narrated in the first person. The character moves from one scenario to another in a very strange way -as a ghost- and makes us wonder the reason why the character is in that state. Besides being the story of a mother, is that of a broken famil
Katherine Jones
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Days after finishing it, I’m still thinking about this one. But that’s pretty typical for the way an Erin Healy novel affects me.

As usual, her prose is flawless, the characters multi-dimensional. The story is layered and complex, to the point that, yes, perhaps the narrative is a bit confusing. It’s the kind of story that you just have to hang on and trust to become clear. Which it does. But not immediately. And not all at once.

Perhaps because it did take time to untangle all the threads, I foun
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Motherless is about more than two siblings dealing with the loss of their mother. It is about the unfairness of pain. The emptiness caused by loss. The weight of sin and the consequences of choices. The insidious damage of secrets and lies. Fractured families that are restored in unexpected ways. And the healing antiseptic of truth.

If you are looking for a powerful story to leave you thinking and digesting it long after you finish reading, Motherless by Erin Healy is for you. It is not light, fl
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I admit I went into this one with questionable expectations, but it turned out alright. Not spectacular, but a nice little mystery going on here, some detective work... lies, convenient forgetfulness. Still a bit too "feel good" for me at the end, but okay overall.
Karen Wiser
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Motherless by Erin Healy is the suspense filled mystery of the year! This book will engage the reader from start to finish as the interlocking characters twist their way through the pages.

Motherless by Erin Healy has earned the title "top favorite fiction read of the year" award on my list! This novel to be released tomorrow (November 1, 2014) will have the reader shaking their head with intrigue as they forge ahead in rapid page turning succession (or swiping for those E-readers out there:). As
Janka H.
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very deep, richly layered novel about guilt and forgiveness, responsibility and the motives behind it, love and family, but mostly about grace. It will leave you with a lot of food for thought.
Not for the ordinary reader.

You will like this novel if you are a fan of Ted Dekker (or from the non-religious authors think John Connolly and Stephen King, but without violence and sexual situations) and/or if you like a bit of magical realism in your read.
I am, so I was deeply impressed. This is one of
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
NOTE: I did not see this synopsis of the book, if I had, I am fairly certain that I would have never requested the book, however, I read the below synopsis, which intrigued me to be a mysterious suspense novel of a Dystopian type novel:

A whispering voice at the back of my mind reminds me that I’ve been this way for some time. Dead, that is.

The dead have a very broad view of the living, of actions performed out of sight, of thoughts believed to be private. I would know. Losing both parents is a
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing

When I finished reading Motherless by Erin Healy, I was emotionally spent, swept away and found myself wiping tears from my eyes. There are very few books that have had that kind of impact on me. I found myself leaning into the story to absorb as much as I could.

Motherless takes off from page one and grips the reader. It immediately immerses you into the story and you are invested in what is going on. Motherless combines the supernatural with a thriller and mystery and does it with such heart. I
Beth Peninger
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for this advanced copy. In exchange for a pre-publish copy I am giving an honest review.

What an odd book. It wasn't bad but I'm not sure I thought it was good either. My husband asked me what it was about and I never could come up with a description that would make sense.
The book is narrated by two people. It starts off being narrated by Misty, mother of two children and wife of Garrett. Misty is dead and she can still view the lives of her children and
Liz Terek
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Becker family knows tragedy. Misty Becker, wife & mother of two, is presumed dead of an apparent suicide. Dylan & Marina were just babies when their mother left. Their father, Garrett, was never the same. Now, years after losing their mother, they may have lost their Dad, too.

Garrett has been in a car accident at his job sight. It appears the children have been orphaned. Both Marina & Dylan have constructed their own little worlds while all the while wondering about their mother
Josh Olds
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: erin-healy, suspense
QUICK HIT – With her typical aura of mystery, Healy weaves a wild tale of loss, secrecy, and two children trying to figure it all out.

Marina and Dylan have lived through loss. Twice. Once, when their mother killed herself when they were children. Second, when their father inexplicably wrecked his suburban in a construction zone. Both parents, gone under weird circumstances.

Marina is twenty. Dylan is sixteen and has suffered from a phobia of crowds or unfamiliar places since his mother’s death. A
Jonathan Esterman
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Erin Healy is well-known for her writing partnership with Ted Dekker, which is how I came across this title for review consideration – the same group that asked me to review A.D. 30 requested me to check out this title as well. Healy has won awards for her fictional writing expertise and is well-known as a fiction editor for other authors.

Reading through Healy’s tale of mystery and suspense, her writing style is one that engulfs the reader. Those not careful or attentive to this ensnaring writin
Christian Fiction Addiction
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"This is the truth: we all tell the stories that we want to believe. We tell them for so long that we forget what we really know. Occasionally we convince others to believe them too."

Marina and Dylan are two siblings who find themselves adrift in a sea of uncertainty, faced with the sudden death of their father and the loss of the stable life they knew. Having already lost their mom at a young age, they now must forge a new path and find their way in a world where the things they'd believed abou
Janelle Cole
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Motherless by Erin Healy is a book that I will not soon forget. As I was nine chapters into the book, my son asked what it was about and I honestly told him I did not know. After responding I shushed him so I could keep reading.

To say this book got into my head would be an understatement. I feel like I can see Ted Dekker’s influence on Erin’s writing, as she has co-wrote books with him in the past. I loved this book. I loved that she jumped right into addressing issues like agrophobia (fear of g
Jessica Higgins
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully crafted story with an ending you won’t see coming.

Marina and Dylan have lived through more loss than most people their age should have to. Marina is twenty and Dylan is sixteen. When he was just a baby their mother killed herself and now their father has had an unexplainable accident and is in a coma, barely hanging on. Marina has tried to be both sister and mother all her life and now with their father gone she has even more put upon her. Dylan suffers from a phobia of crowds and
Ashley Cameron
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Marina has spent her whole life, mothering her little brother Dylan, after her mother's presumed suicide seventeen years ago. After all, they have to call it a suicide. They have no body and she had a past of mental illness. That's all she's known. Untill one day her father gets into a car accident, that whisks him away from their world. Now Marina is trying to figure out how she and her brother will survive. They are in danger of losing their house on top of dealing without both parents. As she ...more
Emilie Hendryx
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy
If I had to pick three words to describe my feelings while reading Erin Healy's Motherless, they would be:

Introspective. Detailed. Mysterious.

Erin's descriptions come off the page and swirl into filmy existence like smoke from wet wood. They create a "presence" that is as eery as her plot.

I will leave discussion of most of the plot to the description below and instead focus on my thoughts on the book as a whole without many specifics. It's one of those books you need to experience in order to
Where do I start this review about Erin Healy’s newest novel? New mother Misty disappeared 16 years ago. Her body was never found, but it’s presumed she killed herself at a notorious stretch of California’s Pacific coast. Now, her husband’s vehicle has plunged into the foundations of a building project and their two children must figure out how to survive life without either parent. Marina is 20 and the fierce protector of her agoraphobic 16 year old brother. While going through family documents ...more
Sara Diane
I like Healy, and was excited to read another title by her. I have to admit, this started off slow, and I wasn't sure I was going to continue, and then I got hooked around the end of the second chapter. But a few chapters later, when one of our main characters contemplates assisting in Grand Theft Auto, I just could not continue. I mean, I get it and why Healy includes this for the plot, but as someone who works in law enforcement, I just can't stomach reading about characters who make these cho ...more
Erin Healy is one of the only authors whose books I will buy without having read them first. They are well-plotted, intriguing, and have relatable characters, and this book was no exception.

The story is narrated by a ghost-like observer (one of the parents of Marina and Dylan) who is able to hear the thoughts of the living and to transport from one place to another in a moment. This makes for a very interesting narrative, as we can hear and see all of the different characters' thoughts and memo
The Bookend Family
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have had the opportunity to read some of Erin Healy's previous work and must say that one of the cool things about discovering a new and rising author is the visual progression of skill that you as the reader get to watch unfold. I can see serious growth in Ms. Healy's talent with this book and it was by far the best she has yet written that I have read.

This story keep me so bound to the events going on that was physically feeling my heart race at the end when the whole story comes together. I
Sharon Mccumber
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
  I’ve mentioned in previous posts that shortly before moving to Indiana I lost my adoptive mother. This woman taught me everything! I mean how to cook and clean, arts and crafts and of course she was always so supportive of my love for books and my love of music. When I lost her I felt like I lost my world.
  All the things we did together seemed like such a choir and a waste of time at that time, I missed to much and regretted the way I acted towards her. She did so much for us and she didn’t e
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a book by Erin Healy before, although I have heard good things.

Wow. This book blew me away. It totally bent my mind. Just as I start to think I know what to expect she slams me with a completely unexpected twist.

From the first pages I was hooked and knew I loved her style. It is so different from any other Christian fiction I have ever read.

Truthfully, I don’t think this book will be for everyone. I think some people might be troubled by it. I am pretty open-minded when it come
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Erin Healy’s books are unique. One of the things that makes them unique for me is that often they require extra brain power to understand the path the story is taking. Her words catch you, entrap you in a snare that pulls you in despite the irritation of having to work to sometimes follow the storyline. In the end, you cannot believe you thought about setting the story down.

This story builds on itself. Mental Illness, paranoia, mystery and a supernatural being all have a place in this book.

At fi
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
Marina and Dylan lost their mother seventeen years ago, her death was presumed suicide. Their father Garrett sees his wife walking down the street and while getting to her he got into a car accident. Now, Marina needs to take care of her brother who suffers from an anxiety disorder.
Sara Rochester lives nearby and is a successful chocolatier. Mysterious letters and gifts Dylan found in their home, lead him to thing Sara Rochester is his mother. Dylan confronts her and she consent to parent them.
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Erin Healy is a supernatural-suspense novelist and an award-winning fiction editor. She began working with Ted Dekker in 2002 and edited twelve of his heart-pounding stories before their collaboration on KISS, the first novel to seat her on "the other side of the desk."

Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. She lives with her
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“Agoraphobia is about being afraid of fear itself in a way Franklin Roosevelt probably never comprehended. It’s the all-consuming dread of having a full-fledged panic attack in any location where there’s no escape route, no shelter, no protection. For someone with this preoccupation, the very logical, rational thing to do is to stay in the sanctuary where he knows he can survive, without the risk of public embarrassment, should fear catch him off guard. Our” 0 likes
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