The Mother

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From the critically acclaimed author of A Cupboard Full of Coats comes a provocative novel of a mother enduring the loss of her child, illuminating some of the most important and troubling issues of our time.

Marcia s husband, Lloydie, expresses his tender love for his wife each morning by preparing a cup of tea and setting it by her bedside. This routine was part of the wonderful, secure life they had built, complete with a brilliant and handsome sixteen-year-old son, Ryan.

Then the unimaginable happens, and in a single moment Marcia is stripped clean of everything she had presumed was hers for keeps. Ryan, not the kind of boy to find himself on the wrong end of a knife, is brutally murdered. Consumed by grief and rage, she is forced to carry the weight of the family s pain. She has to assume the role of supporter for her inconsolable husband, who has distanced himself and created a secret life. She must also bridle her dark feelings and endure something no mother should ever have to experience: she must go to court alone for the trial of her son s killer, Tyson, another teenage boy. As the trial takes apart her son s life and reassembles it in front of strangers, Marcia, always certain of Ryan s virtues, finds her beliefs and assumptions challenged as she learns more about her son s death and of Tyson s life.

The Mother is a moving portrait of love, tragedy, and survival and of the aftershocks from a momentary act of cruel violence that transforms the lives of everyone it touches.

Praise for Yvvette Edwards author of A Cupboard Full of Coats

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

Love, loss, pain, race, poverty, abuse, and redemption are all beautifully played out in Edwards s novel about a mother struggling to not just remain alive, but live, after the murder of her sixteen-year-old son. Edwards s story moves us in and out of a courtroom, and into the heart of human suffering and ultimate strength. Naseem Rakha, author of The Crying Tree

Yvvette Edwards knows how to break your heart. Vivid and real. I care about her characters the way I d care about my own kin. Mitchell Jackson, author of The Residue Years and Oversoul

The Mother is beautiful in the clarity of its writing and honest emotion in its depiction of grief. Yvvette Edwards is a formidable talent. Jervey Tervalon, author of Monster Chef, The Cocaine Chronicles, and Dead Above Ground

The Mother seduces with gripping and enticing storytelling. It takes you through an amazing arrangement of emotions: anger, hate, despair, and grief, while tapping in to what it means to yearn for a sense of humanity. An intense pressure cooker of a novel, showing that Yvvette Edwards is a star. Guy A. Sims, author of Living Just a Little, Monster, and Brotherman Revelation

This is the clear, rhythmic, honest tale that black mothers raising young black men know: surreal loss and the more surreal truth that we and our children are deeply connected to other black women and their children, no matter where we ve come from. Zelda Lockhart, author of Fifth Born"


Yvvette Edwards
Amistad Press
Publication Date:
May 10, 2016

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