Thursday, June 2, 2016
The Mother by Yvvette Edwards
We meet Marcia on one of the worst days of her life. It is the opening trial day for the boy who murdered her only son, Ryan. Ryan was sixteen years old when this boy ran up to him at a football training field in London and stabbed him repeatedly. Now he is on trial and Marcia is determined to be their every day. She wants to find out why anyone would do such a thing.
Marcia's life has been hell for the last eight months since the murder. She is by turns angry, depressed and barely gets through the days. Nights go by on a mixture of vodka and sleeping pills. Her marriage is at a breaking point; her husband muted by the tragedy. Her friends and remaining family try to be supportive but no one can really relate to what she is going through.
As the trial goes on, Marcia sees that the young man on trial has no remorse. He doesn't seem to feel anything for anyone and she wonders what his life would have to have been like to turn him into this unfeeling automaton. A young girl is his alibi and it is the same girl that Ryan brought home once. Marcia had disapproved as the girl was street-wise and not the kind of girl she always thought Ryan would eventually be interested in. Now it appears that Ryan's death may have been caused by his interest in her since the other boy has also been with her.
Unfortunately, most of us know someone in Marcia's shoes as we get older. These are parents who have lost their children, whether to accidents, sickness or violence. It is unimaginable pain and the fact that it is unimaginable makes it difficult to be the friend they need at this time. Edwards has ripped aside the barrier and shown us what is going on in the minds and hearts of our friends who are dealing with this horror. She also takes the time to emphasize with the killer and his circumstances, raising questions about what we owe to those less fortunate and how we can change things to possibly avoid further tragedies. This book is recommended for literary fiction readers and for anyone with a friend in this circumstance.