book cover of The School for Good Mothers
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The School for Good Mothers

(2021)
A novel by

 
 
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
AN OBAMA'S 2022 SUMMER READING PICK

'A taut and propulsive take on the cult of motherhood and the notion of what makes a good mother. Destined to be feminist classic - it kept me up at night' PANDORA SYKES
'A haunting tale of identity and motherhood - as devastating as it is imaginative' AFUA HIRSCH
'Incredibly clever, funny and pertinent to the world we're living in at the moment' DAISY JOHNSON

'We have your daughter'

Frida Liu is a struggling mother. She remembers taking Harriet from her cot and changing her nappy. She remembers giving her a morning bottle. They'd been up since four am.

Frida just had to finish the article in front of her. But she'd left a file on her desk at work. What would happen if she retrieved it and came back in an hour? She was so sure it would be okay.

Now, the state has decided that Frida is not fit to care for her daughter. That she must be re-trained. Soon, mothers everywhere will be re-educated. Will their mistakes cost them everything?

The School for Good Mothers is an explosive and thrilling novel about love and the pressures of perfectionism, parenthood and privilege.

'A timely and remarkable debut' CARMEN MARIA MACHADO
'An absolutely gripping debut' FRANCHES CHA
'Original . . . Terrifying'NEW YORK TIMES
'Explosive' OPRAH DAILY
'Enthralling'PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY



Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"The School for Good Mothers is an astonishing novel. Heartbreaking and daring, propulsive and wise. In the way that The Handmaid's Tale made us fear for women's bodies, The School for Good Mothers makes us fear for women's souls. It's hard to distill all the love and longing this book contains, and how electrifying it is to be immersed in Chan's world. So let me just say, I read with my heart in my throat and I held my kids tight." - Diane Cook

"Jessamine Chan captures, in heartbreaking tones, the exacting price women pay in a patriarchal society that despises them, that reduces their worth to their viability for procreation and capacity for mothering. The School for Good Mothers is not so much a warning for some possible dystopian nightmare as much as it is an alarm announcing that the nightmare is here. The book is, thus, a weeping testimony, a haunting song, and a piercing rebuke of both the misogynist social order and the traps it lays for women, girls, and femmes. Good Mothers deserves an honored place next to the works of Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler." - Robert Jones Jr

"A terrifying novel about mass surveillance, loneliness, and the impossible measurements of motherhood - The School for Good Mothers is a timely and remarkable debut." - Carmen Maria Machado

"This book is like nothing I've read before--a tightly plotted, deeply moving novel that also offers profound insights into the state of contemporary motherhood within a country that offers very little in the way of societal support for parents. I found myself moved to tears by its conclusion. The School for Good Mothers is haunting and unforgettable, and I'm in awe of Jessamine Chan's mind." - Liz Moore

"Gutting and terrifying. Vivid and exquisite. In The School for Good Mothers, you'll find not only your favorite novel of the year, but also a new cultural touchstone, a reference point for the everyday horrors all parents experience and take for granted. This book is sharp, shocking, anxiety-provoking, superb. It is exactly what you want, and need, to read." - Julia Phillips

"This taut, explosive novel is all the more terrifying because it edges so close to reality. With the story of one woman struggling to get her daughter back, Jessamine Chan spotlights the punishing scrutiny and judgment aimed at mothers everywhere - especially those who aren't wealthy or white. Frida's predicament embodies the fraught question so many women are taught to ask: Am I good enough?" - Leni Zumas


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