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Good Mothers Don't

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  13 reviews

It's 1960, and Elizabeth has a good life. A husband who takes care of her, two healthy children, a farm in the Forties Settlement. But Elizabeth is slowly coming apart, her reality splintering. She knows she will harm her children, wants to harm her children, wants to be stopped from harming her children. She doesn't sleep, becomes incoherent. Elizabeth is taken away.

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Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 21st 2020 by Vagrant Press
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Darlene Foster
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What would you do if you were a mother and felt you were losing your mind? This incredible book introduces us to Elizabeth, a wife and mom in the early 1960s who is grappling with her sanity. Then something happens to push her over the edge, resulting in a family that is torn apart. This well written, gripping story is told by Elizabeth and those affected by her. I have enjoyed everything Laura Best has written in the past, but she has outdone herself with this story. She has created characters ...more
GOOD MOTHER'S DON'T written by Laura Best is a powerful work of literary fiction about motherhood and mental illness set in 1960s Nova Scotia.

"Shifting through time and points of view, acclaimed author Laura Best's first novel for adults allows us to see the ripple effects of mental illness and it's treatment in the mid-twentieth century. GOOD MOTHER'S DON'T is a moving exploration of illness, memory, and how we fight for who we love."
-Quote from front flap of book cover

The story is told from f
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it
In Laura Best’s first novel for adults, it is 1960. Young mother Elizabeth MacKay lives with her husband Cliff, daughter Jewel and son Jacob in the farming community of The Forties, in Nova Scotia. Everything should be fine. Her children are happy and healthy. The farm is doing well. But all is not well with Elizabeth, who is losing her grip on reality. Suffering from paranoid delusions, she is afraid of harming her children. She’s been prescribed medication to regulate her moods, but she doesn’ ...more
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"It's impossible for me to explain what takes place in the mind, how your fears can be so overwhelming that you're desperate for relief even when you become aware that each treatment pushes you further and further away from the person you once were. You try not to think about that, concentrating on the moment you are presently in and what feels right and manageable. You see your past slipping away, and yet succumb to the notion that it is worth hanging onto in the first place."

I real
Wendy Dines
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Step inside the mind of a woman who experienced a mental breakdown and endured mind debilitating electroshock treatments and careless abandonment by family.....the author creates the sense of uncertainty she feels when she is finally released from hospital and is now deemed ‘well’ . She wonders who she is? Did she ever have family? What is the meaning of five special words? Do they hold the key to her past?
Lynn  Davidson
This is a thought-provoking story about mental illness and a family trying to function when mental illness takes the mother away from her husband and children. Told from several points of view, it keeps the reader paying close attention.

A woman struggles to survive and exist in a world that often makes no sense to her. Her father is the one who holds her together, who understands her best, and when he dies it is as if she is cut adrift. Her world collapses around her. As she struggles to get we
Ramona Jennex
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am deeply moved by this compelling novel about mental illness, memory and love. I highly recommend you read this powerful book.
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Another great novel from my favorite author!!
Jan 19, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 rounded down. It was interesting and captivating but I found the narrative a little jumpy and hard to follow. I almost feel like I need to read it again to fully understand the story. Really interesting and I’ve never read a book like this, one that shows the viewpoint and perspective of someone like the main character.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Laura Best outdid herself with “Good Mothers Don’t”. An honest look into the suffering of mental illness. Told in the voice of Elizabeth (who struggles with this insidious disease) and those that are close to her, this story is an accurate depiction and a compelling tale. A compulsive read not only about the person who suffers from mental illness but also the ramifications for those who love her. Well done!
Read with Kaylie Seed
Content Warning: mental illness

Laura Best’s Good Mothers Don’t follows Elizabeth McKay and her experience with mental illness in the 1960s and 1970s while living in a small farming community in Nova Scotia. Elizabeth has two young children, Jacob and Jewel, and a husband named Cliff, who all love her dearly; she’s living a good life. Elizabeth begins to unravel as she starts hearing voices and imagining herself harming her children. She’s aware that something is wrong, but she can’t seem to cont
Paul Molive
I like the characters, I love the plot and everything about this book. Good job writer! If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on NovelStar, just submit your story to or
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