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Every Day Is Mother's Day by Hilary Mantel
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And along came Muriel...

‘Every day is Mother’s Day’ is the story of Evelyn and Muriel Axon, a mother and daughter who live a reclusive life in the house that Muriel was born. Evelyn has raised Muriel alone since the death of her husband, Clifford when Muriel was 6 years old, Clifford unfortunately saw Muriel as an ‘inconvenience’ and not having any more children because it would ‘risk repetition’. Evelyn, not in the best of health will not accept help and when social services come into their lives, Evelyn finds that Muriel is changing, something which scares Evelyn, Muriel attends a community day care centre and life becomes worse when Evelyn discovers that Muriel is in fact pregnant and is unable (or unwilling) to tell Evelyn who the father is, Evelyn decides to keep the baby a secret and lock Muriel in their house.

Meanwhile, Isabel Field their latest social worker is having problems of her own, she is having an affair with a married man, Colin Sidney, his sister Florence is the Axons neighbour (unknown to Isabel) and she has also lost Muriel’s file. Colin, Isabel, Florence, Muriel and Evelyn finds themselves coming together and no one knows what the outcome will be.

It’s hard to describe ‘Every Day is Mother’s Day’ without giving too much away, it is full of dark humour, Evelyn’s ideas are questionable, Muriel is manipulative, scary, not what she seems, Isabel and Colin, two very different people, I found it hard to believe why they would have an affair (which was the point), there is constant feeling of something about to happen, you find yourself becoming more and more suspicious of Muriel and despite Evelyn’s actions, you do feel sorry for her and in some ways, you feel sorry for Muriel. There is also the paranormal aspect, what exactly is in the spare room? And what does Evelyn see?

The book also highlights how people can be missed, how sometimes the system does not work.

The ending is left open, there is more to come from Muriel.

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