Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Good Enough Mother” as Want to Read:
A Good Enough Mother
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Good Enough Mother

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  2,852 ratings  ·  499 reviews

The most dangerous lies are the ones we tell ourselves.

'Taut, absorbing and psychologically astute, in A Good Enough Mother Bev Thomas combines all the tension of a thriller with the emotional resonance of a powerful family drama.' (Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the Train)

Dr Ruth Hartland rises to
Published March 7th 2019 by Faber & Faber
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,852 ratings  ·  499 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Good Enough Mother
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5 stars!

Ruth is a successful psychotherapist who specializes in trauma patients. She is the director of a well known and highly respected therapy centre. This story provides an intimate look into her work life with her patients and staff as well as her personal life with the tragic loss of her son who is missing. Ruth is confident, hard working and determined at the office but holds much pain and suffering for her family life inside her heart. Lines begin to get blurred when she takes on a new p
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Bev Thomas, and Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

The title and premise of this novel caught my eye from the outset, as Bev Thomas pulls on the heartstrings of the reader while offering up a mysterious tale of love and loss. Ruth Hartland is a psychotherapist at a highly specialised facility in London, handling severe cases of trauma. Her professi
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review

Well, this was not exactly what I was expecting. Domestic drama more than suspense, I felt the novel's plot moved very slowly. Realistic in the sense that the novel explores the cracks in the health system; the central storyline of the protagonist's(Dr. Ruth Hartland)missing son, Tom never really hooked me.

Many of the chapters give the backstory of Ruth's life with her much loved son. As the story is told completely fro
Ova - Excuse My Reading
This is a fine book- I especially loved the way the patient and therapist sections were explored. Immense research and thought seems to have poured in. The story is OK. However there were somethings that I really couldn't help to get irritated. Don't want to write spoilers, but ..

(view spoiler)
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes novels are categorised as psychological thrillers but the psychological element is weak; that is not the case with A Good Enough Mother! The psychological pull of this novel was so intense, I flew through it in no time at all. Not only did it thrill my mind, but the psychology on display within the novel was gripping. Seeing elements of Ruth’s work with clients in the trauma unit, but also seeing how her son’s disappearance affected her work with her clients was expertly done. When I f ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I struggled to finish this.
I found there was alot of time hopping and didn't really feel it got going till past the 70% mark.
The ending felt obvious from alot earlier in the book.
Unfortunately I didn't find the characters particularly likeable or relatable either.
Overall rather disappointing.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Aga Durka
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heart-wrenching, psychological family drama with a twist.
Mother’s worst nightmare, a missing child, is what Ruth Hartland faces while still performing her very difficult job of being a therapist. While Ruth thinks she has a good grip on separating her personal family drama from her professional life, we soon find out that this is not the case. Things quickly spiral out of control when a new patient shows up, and his uncanny resemblance to Ruth’s missing son awakens emotions that soon drive Ru
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Good Enough Mother is described by one retailer as a psychological thriller and another as general fiction, but I think the most accurate genre for it to be placed in is that of domestic drama. It broaches many prevalent issues and due to that would make a fitting book club read fuelling many debates about mental health, motherhood, emotional attachment/bonds, trauma, grief, love, loss and heartbreak. What really set this book apart, though, was the sensitivity and realism with which these iss ...more
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
3.5 stars

Before I get into this review, I have to mention some trigger warnings involved with this novel. Although I find typically that thrillers often have graphic content, I feel like its still appropriate that I include warnings in my reviews. With that being said some of the content contained in this novel requiring warning are mentions/scenes of: rape, abuse (physical and emotional), suicide attempts, depression, anxiety, and death.

Now, onto the review.

This psychological thriller was a fas
Julie (JuJu)
My thoughts:
This debut psychological family drama is about guilt and grief and how both affect individuals and their relationships.

Ruth is a therapist in a trauma unit. She’s chosen not to share her complex and complicated family secrets with her coworkers. So she keeps her obsession with learning the truth private.

From the moment Ruth took on Dan as a patient, I knew there would be a devastating outcome. What I didn’t know was all the shocks and twists that would happen along the way.

Ruth is
Natasha Niezgoda
Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster! 3.75 stars ⭐️for this one!

Synopsis: Ruth is a psychotherapist 👩🏼‍⚕️and Dan is a new patient of hers. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but Dan bears a striking familiarity to Ruth’s adult son, Tom, who has gone missing. Still struggling with that grief, she begins to feel an emotional tie to Dan and this causes Ruth’s judgment to fail her. As the story progresses, Ruth crosses professional boundaries she’s advised others to never cross and her relation
Dale Harcombe
As the director of a trauma therapy unit, Dr Ruth Hartland is used to seeing patients with their share of issues. But Ruth has her own issues which centre around her son Tom’s disappearance. After two years, Ruth still has no idea if Tom is still alive or what has happened to him. When a new patient, Dan Griffin, who looks a lot like Tom, arrives at the trauma therapy unit it is unsettling to say the least. Ruth knows she should be objective and pass this patient over to someone else. But she ch ...more
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
I'd probably say 3.5 stars, enjoyed but found a little slow at times. ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can also find this review on my book blog.

A Good Enough Mother is Faber’s lead debut which comes out on 4th April. When I got the blog tour invite I jumped right in because after reading that synopsis I couldn’t resist! It ticks all the boxes when it comes to a book for me.

What’s it about? A Good Enough Mother follows Dr. Ruth Hartland who is a director in a well-known trauma unit. Ruth’s job consists of seeing different patients and helping them through their traumas and she’s quite a g
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, own, arc
3.5 stars

A Good Enough Mother was at times suspenseful, hair raising, grief-filled and hopeful. I enjoyed learning about the patient/therapist relationships and thinking about the parenting approaches some of the characters in the story thought were “good enough”. I enjoyed this book but the one thing that bothered me was I felt like I was kept at an arms length from the main character, Ruth. I felt like I truly didn’t get to know her and she felt distant to me. Hard to explain but I wish I coul
H.A. Leuschel
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic page-turner where the main protagonist had me completely spellbound and the underlying theme about the complexities of motherhood and the intricacies of psychotherapy reeling with emotion.
Joanne Robertson
I had a sample of this book and as soon as I reached the end I knew that it was just my sort of read. I needed to discover more about Dr Ruth Hartland and why she felt such a strong connection to her newest patient. I was expecting a run of the mill psychological thriller but what I got was so much deeper-a very thought provoking character exploration of a mother coping with some difficult dilemmas. Sometimes I actually had to put the book down because as a mother it disturbed me just how raw an ...more
Liz Barnsley
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really excellent psychological drama about a mother who's son is missing so allows her own grief to intrude on her work as a trauma counsellor- with devastating consequences.

Full review for the tour.
Reminded me a fair bit of The Woman in the Window in that both protagonists are psychotherapists dealing with trauma from their past. Here Dr Ruth Hartland is still hoping to hear word of her son, Tom, who attempted suicide as a teenager and has now been missing for over a year. When a new patient who looks a lot like Tom starts coming for appointments, she ignores her gut feeling that she should pass him on to another practitioner. This is only the start of her poor professional choices, which ...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
I really enjoyed this book and loved how the author fleshes out all her characters so you feel an intimacy with them. You feel you know them by the end of the book. And her insights into human emotions and actions impressed the hell out of me. The best part was the twist and a turn and perhaps another twist. It's not what keeps me reading, but I do look forward to the surprises.

Bev Thomas knows how to create characters who leap off the pages and stay on your mind long after you've read the last
Rachel Hall
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emotionally resonant domestic drama with a psychotherapist losing her professional objectivity.

Fascinating, thought-provoking and often harrowing reading, Bev Thomas’s debut is a domestic drama with a difference in that not only is protagonist, Ruth Harland, a respected psychologist of twenty-five-years standing and the director of the NHS trauma unit she heads up, but she is labouring under the all-consuming weight of maternal grief. Her son, Tom, disappeared from family life over a year and a
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Good Enough Mother is a relatively short novel at just over 300 pages and I absolutely devoured it. It's a gripping, compelling and breath taking look at the therapist/patient relationship, and also a study in motherhood. Just what is a 'good enough Mother'?
Is it good enough to ensure that your child is fed and clothed, or must a mother protect and defend their child? Is 'good enough' actually enough?

Ruth Hartland is the Director of a London trauma clinic. She's very experienced and highly res
May 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I think of the definition of boring, I will think of A Good Enough Mother. Perhaps it is not my type of book. Usually l like books that have a story. This one seems to be overly detailed without much to the story.
Maureen DeLuca
I'm giving this 3 stars because I feel bad giving it 2. It was painfully slow in parts- too slow, and then after that I just didn't care. I know. It has to be me- I'm having trouble finding books I like. So , on to the next ! ...more
“... imagining him like this is my way of trying to let him go. In the hope that if I do, he might one day find his way back home to me.”

A psychiatrist with a troubled family loses perspective with her patients resulting in grave consequences.

If I made that sound exciting then apologies, because it is not. This is neither a thriller nor a work of suspense, it’s a four hour 80’s soft-lit Hallmark Channel fictionalized docudrama.

It’s not a bad book, but it is a boring book. Any comparisons
Diana Iozzia
“A Good Enough Mother”
Written by Bev Thomas
Review written by Diana Iozzia

“A Good Enough Mother” is one of those cautionary tale type thrillers. We have a main character who becomes quickly wrapped up in a dangerous scenario, that they could have easily prevented, while the villain is enjoying this manipulative, cat-and-mouse game, seeing how far they can push boundaries before the final culmination of the story.

This book is the first that I have read by Beverly Thomas, and I thoroughly enjoyed m
Gaby (GNTxREADs)
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, pigeonhole
YES FINALLY. This is one of the first books I've read where the therapist/ psychologist/ counsellor/ psychiatrist isn't an unrealistic model figure of their profession. I am so often left rolling my eyes when I read books that include these types of characters and it is clear they are overstepping professional boundaries from the outset but I was SO pleased to finally find a book that is REAL.

The accuracy in writing about the professional conduct and therapeutic expectations clearly comes from B
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

A heart-stopping mother's story of love and loss, and a riveting drama that lets us inside the secret world of therapist and patient.

Ruth Hartland is the director of a trauma therapy unit in London. A psychotherapist with twenty years of experience, she is highly respected in her field. But
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019pub
2.5 stars


This was a VERY, VERY, SLOWWWWWWW burn book. So slow, that I thought "Wow, this is going to be one jaw-dropping, shocking, twist of an ending!".

(view spoiler)
Nancy McFarlane
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Ruth Hartland is a well-respected psychodynamic therapist who has practiced for over 20 years. However, as the story of her family is slowly revealed it is obvious that she has not been as successful dealing with her husband and children as she has with her patients. Her marriage has come apart, her daughter Caroline has moved to Australia and they rarely speak and worst of all Caroline’s twin Tom, whom Ruth has always seemed to favor, disappeared two years earlier at the age of 17 without a ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • In My House
  • Ok, Mr. Field
  • The Last Place You Look (Roxane Weary, #1)
  • Nos corps étrangers
  • The Exclusives
  • The Zoo
  • Snakes and Ladders (Ziba MacKenzie, #3)
  • The Fountain in the Forest
  • Walk in Silence
  • Plume
  • Who Did You Tell?
  • The Night You Left: The tense and shocking thriller that readers can’t put down
  • A Love of Two Halves
  • L'Enfant-rien
  • The Most Fun We Ever Had
  • Her Daughter's Mother
  • Conviction
  • Layover
See similar books…
Bev Thomas was a clinical psychologist in the NHS for many years. She currently works as an organizational consultant in mental health and other services. She lives in London with her family.

Related Articles

If you're a fan of the mystery and thriller genre and young adult books, recent months have brought a bevy of great reads to your shelves! We...
142 likes · 20 comments