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The Mother

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  122 reviews

Yvvette Edwards' second novel, The Mother, tells Marcia's story.

Today, Marcia is heading to the Old Bailey. She's going there to do something no mother should ever have to do: to attend the trial of the boy accused of her son's murder.

She's not meant to be that woman; Ryan, her son, wasn't that kind of boy. But Tyson Manley is that kind of a boy and, as his trial unfolds,

Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published April 7th 2016 by Mantle
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  544 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Nia Forrester
I loved this book. Quiet, beautiful prose about an incredibly difficult subject. I started it last year, and let's just say, it was a particularly bad time to be reading about dead, Black boys, so I set it aside. Had I not done so, I believe I would have been better off, but I could not have known that. The mood in the beginning, and for the first third of the book is one of melancholy. It is hard not to feel what Marcia, the main character feels -- the hopelessness, the helplessness, the pain.


This book was very interesting. It followed Marcia Williams who is about to attend the trial of the 17 yr old boy who murdered her son Ryan.

Marcia came to court with an image in her head of everyone involved and she found herself constantly having to reevaluate those assumptions. From her husband Lloydie to Sweetie the young girl Ryan had been seeing, people weren't acting like she expected or even wanted them to.

As a mother, I couldn't imagine the pain and anguish Marcia and Llyodie were going
Read In Colour
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gah, so many emotions! I was a nervous wreck reading this, but I couldn't put it down. Can't wait to discuss it with others after they've had a chance to read it.
Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
This novel kicks off with an incredibly powerful first chapter that pulled me in immediately, even though it was obvious this would be an emotionally difficult read. The Mother is part story of a mother’s grief, part courtroom drama, part portrait of grief’s impact on a marriage, and part statement about race, poverty, and what happens to people born into a rough life on the streets.

Edwards’ simple, yet impactful writing and powerful images take the reader on the emotional roller coaster ride
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mother by Yvvette Edwards
What is every parents worse nightmare? The death of a child. This fact is revealed on the blurb on the inside cover of the dust jacket. Marcia the mother of Ryan (who is killed in a senseless crime, aren't they all?), has to go to court everyday alone. Her husband Lloydie has kind of checked out of life. Lloydie can see no benefit in going to court. He refuses to go to support Marcia, in spite of her really wanting him to go with her. The reason Marcia is putting
Maya B
4.5 stars. Very emotional read. This story is about a couple whose son is murdered. The author did an excellent job taking the reader through the grieving process of this couple. Edwards gave me a clear view of the victim and the accuser. This is a story of pain and forgiveness. I love how the author takes the reader through the trial of their son, Ryan. The trial was very clear and detailed. I felt like I was n the courtroom sitting next to his mother, Marcia. My only dislike was I wish the ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Marcia's son Ryan is dead and the boy charged with killing him is on trial. A newspaper story reporting on the crime shows the pictures of Ryan and his killer without saying which is which, something that bothers Marcia deeply. Both boys are black teenagers, but her son has been well brought up, with good parents who work hard. The other boy, Tyson, comes from a life of crime and poverty that makes his criminality seem inevitable.

I am in a reading slump where I hate almost everything. And yet I
Kim Ebner
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow, this was a stunningly written book, and what an emotional read. It was sad, and the emotions of the parents were so real and so raw. This is not a novel full of twists and turns, it's a character and plot driven story. It tells the story of a married couple who are dealing with a terrible loss, being the loss of their teenage son. Both parents are dealing with the loss differently. The story is very fast moving and I loved the scenes from the trial, they had me hooked. At the end of the ...more
“Today is the first day of the trial of the man – well, boy, really – accused of the murder of our son and, as a result, instead of a regular cup of tea on the bedside table, it is a steaming act of phenomenal cowardice and I will not touch or drink it.”

Just this sentence at the end of the opening paragraph of The Mother made me stop, gasp and read it again to savour the intense distillation of emotion it represented.

The eponymous mother’s son has been murdered, stabbed to death by a boy his own
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Today, Marcia is heading to the Old Bailey. She's going there to do something no mother should ever have to do: attend the trial of the boy accused of her son's murder.

She's not meant to be that woman; Ryan, her son, wasn't that kind of boy. But Tyson Manley is that kind of a boy and, as his trial unfolds, it becomes clear that Marcia's greatest hope for closure lies with Manley's girlfriend, Sweetie. But can Sweetie be trusted?

Review :

I have been taking so many breaks in between posting reviews
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationships, crime
Marcia’s son Ryan has been murdered, and the trial of the accused killer is finally starting. In the months leading up to the trial, Marcia’s life has unraveled. She is physically a wreck, nearly a walking skeleton. Her husband can’t cope with the loss of their son and distances himself from her emotionally. As she searches for answers as to why this accused boy murdered her son, the reader becomes acquainted with the life the accused led and how the paths of the victim and the killer became ...more
Renny Barcelos
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
The Mother is another powerfully emotional novel by the very talented Yvvette Edwards. As with A Cupboard Full of Coats, her first novel, there's a tense, melancholy, sometimes angst feeling surrounding the story that makes it both beautiful and unbearable at some points. It's a reading that's made to make the reader dive into the world there exposed; to feel, agonize with the characters.

This is an amazing book, but it isn't an easy read. It is the worst possible nightmare to any parent, right
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*** Please note... Spoiler alerts! ***
This book just tears the heart out of any parent. Ryan is a sixteen year old black boy who gets killed with a knife by another black boy and at first there is absolutely no explanation why. The story basically starts about seven months after the killing, at the beginning of the trial of Tyson, the accused. Marcia, Ryan's mom, tries throughout the book to make sense of the death of her son, while his father, Lloyd, almost withdrew into himself completely.
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-tours, 2016
Powerful & thought part of TLC Book Tours

Marcia, 'The Mother', is forced to attend the trial of her son's killer without the support of her husband.
Lloydie, is devastated and unable to cope, or come to terms, with the death of his son. He withdraws evermore into his own solitary world, driving a wedge between him and his wife emotionally and physically.
Marcia, consumed by anger, resentment and the inability to share in each other's grief, slowly the gap between them widens
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, for-review
The Mother was kind of a difficult book to get through emotionally. Marcia's son has been murdered and the book opens as she prepares for the trial of his killer. Her marriage seems to be on the fritz and she can barely function on some days. The story follows her through the trial and gives you insight into her thoughts about everything going on around her.

This is a very emotional book. As a mother, I found it so heart wrenching. I can't imagine and hope I never to know what it would be like
A short, dreary novel. Two stars seems too generous, but one star seems cruel. The story is well-written and features some memorable passages, but the story overall is forgettable. The ending is contrived and made me mad.
Edwards explores motherhood, specifically mothers of sons, through an incident of fatal violence between two older teens. The novel begins just as the trial is set to start. Marcia, mother of the victim, feels compelled to be present at the trial because she owes it to her son. Her husband refuses to go so Marcia relies on her sister and other friends for support. She hopes the trial will finally answer some of her questions and bring a sense of closure. Marcia's anger, frustration, and sorrow ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Incredibly timely novel dealing with a black mother's coming to terms with the senseless loss of her teenaged son.Beautifully moving it explores the myriad emotions she faces as she goes to trial and view's her son's killer.This novel was an exploration of grief, its effect on a marriage, and the triad of poverty, violence and lack of parenting that affect the development of our youth . I hope this does not fall under the radar as it was too good and too important to be missed.
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book about a mother who is forced to rethink things during the murder trial of the man who killed her son. It is an interesting portrait in grief and the audio book had me sitting in my car, waiting to hear what happened next.
I really want to give this 3.75 stars but this ain't Star Search so here we are .
I really loved it; I could feel Marcia and Lloydie's pain just through writing and how they both coped or not after their son Ryan's death. I also enjoyed the sections to do with the trial, the book read like a real life story - which I guess it is for a lot of families, who have lost loved ones to knife crime.

It would make a good TV drama too, either on BBC1 or ITV1. To show awareness about the devastating effect, these murders are having on family and friends as well as showing to young people
Lori Miller
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a shockingly good read. I got the book as part of a quarterly book club subscription my daughter sent me for Mother's Day. Since I didn't pick it, I wasn't sure what to expect. As a mother, I can't imagine the horrible pain of losing a teenage son in a fatal stabbing. The book goes through the emotions the mother goes through during the trail in the U.K. Although she will never get her son back, it is ultimately hopeful.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book. I'm an avid reader and though I have enjoyed many books it is rare to have that one book that you think about when you are not reading it and it stays with you when you have finished it. Thought provoking and Powerful story, well written. I felt like I was walking in marce's shadow.
Joanne Schofield
3.5 stars.
A hauntingly sad book about a mother’s grief for her deceased son. It focuses on the court case of her son’s alleged attacker and was actually a little different from what I was expecting.

Well written but I found it quite a difficult read, it was just too sad and depressing. Whatever the outcome there was never going to be a happy ending here.
Jayne Catherine pinkett
I wasn't expecting this book to be as well written and impactful as it was. As a mother of boys in their twenties I could relate to every single emotion. It also raises the issues of gang culture and how easily kids get involved in crime, poor morals and even murder!
Kerry Clare
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A bit embarrassing when I finished it on a plane, crying while surrounded by strangers... Such a beautiful book.
Sharon Williams
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
really good read. really makes you think about life.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
*3.5 Stars*
I think this was an important book.

Sixteen year old Ryan was fatally stabbed one evening by 17 year old Tyson. We follow Ryan’s mother through the painful ordeal of the murder trial. This read more like a non fiction - which I suppose it is really given the levels of knife crime in London at the moment. Powerful and very well written.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well structured, a good plot if a bit bleak.
A shocking insight into inner city life
This book was hard to read. It probably is for every mother, it has got to be the worst nightmare we all have. Marcia of this book lives it. She has lost her 16 years old son, Ryan, to violent murder by another 16 year old. Ryan was the type of boy who never hurt anything, and that he was murdered seems unthinkable to Marcia. Seven months after the fact, still not used to the idea, she starts attending the trial for his murder trying to understand why Tyler Manley stabbed him with a knife. If ...more
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