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The School for Good Mothers: A Novel
The School for Good Mothers: A Novel
The School for Good Mothers: A Novel
Audiobook11 hours

The School for Good Mothers: A Novel

Written by Jessamine Chan

Narrated by Catherine Ho

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

4/5

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About this audiobook

Longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel
Longlisted for the 2023 Carnegie Medal for Excellence
Shortlisted for The Center for Fiction 2022 First Novel Prize
Selected as One of Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of 2022!

In this New York Times bestseller and Today show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick, one lapse in judgement lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance, in this “surreal” (People), “remarkable” (Vogue), and “infuriatingly timely” (The New York Times Book Review) debut novel.

Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough.

Until Frida has a very bad day.

The state has its eye on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgement, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion.

Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good.

An “intense” (Oprah Daily), “captivating” (Today) page-turner that is also a transgressive novel of ideas about the perils of “perfect” upper-middle class parenting; the violence enacted upon women by both the state and, at times, one another; the systems that separate families; and the boundlessness of love, The School for Good Mothers introduces, in Frida, an everywoman for the ages. Using dark wit to explore the pains and joys of the deepest ties that bind us, Chan has written a modern literary classic.

Editor's Note

Dystopian drama…

A scathing commentary on the assumptions and stereotypes about mothers and the government powers that separate families, Chan’s dystopian drama is a page-turner. Frida Liu’s recent divorce may be the last straw, but at least she has her 18-month-old daughter — until she doesn’t. When the single mom leaves her child home alone for two hours, she’s sent to a rehabilitation facility where she must be a surrogate mother to other children in order to earn back her own.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateJan 4, 2022
ISBN9781797135458
The School for Good Mothers: A Novel
Author

Jessamine Chan

Jessamine Chan’s short stories have appeared in Tin House and Epoch. A former reviews editor at Publishers Weekly, she holds an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts and a BA from Brown University. Her work has received support from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Wurlitzer Foundation, the Jentel Foundation, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, the Anderson Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Ragdale Foundation. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Reviews for The School for Good Mothers

Rating: 3.9069423929098965 out of 5 stars
4/5

677 ratings41 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    One star down because of the end, otherwise a very interesting read
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Very strange and took a while to get to the dystopia... but its worth a slow start
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Gutting. A brilliant commentary that’s not so far fetched in today’s political climate of Neighbor reporting Neighbor. Multiple layers in this exquisitely written dystopian novel.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    The book was a dystopian extreme CPS but the ending was very disappointing.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    The book is a little depressing. The most interesting part is the relationship she forms with her doll Enmanuel.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    The writing was excellent. The story was disturbing…..it cuts a bit close to the bone about motherhood and our own limits, beliefs about ourselves, and in an exaggerated way makes you wonder about a war in women.