STARRED REVIEW
May 2016

A mother’s search for justice

By Yvvette Edwards
In English author Yvvette Edwards’ second novel, following her acclaimed debut, A Cupboard Full of Coats (2012), she delves into the timely issue of violence against and between young black men—both its possible causes, and its heartrending effects on the families involved.
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In English author Yvvette Edwards’ second novel, following her acclaimed debut, A Cupboard Full of Coats (2012), she delves into the timely issue of violence against and between young black men—both its possible causes, and its heartrending effects on the families involved.

The Mother opens in London, as Marcia Williams prepares to attend the first day of the trial of the young man accused of stabbing to death her bright and loving 16-year-old son, Ryan. We learn that Ryan was returning to the Sports Ground to retrieve his football shoes after practice; that a jogger saw a young man run toward Ryan and stab him four times; and that the accused, Tyson Manley, claims to have been with his girlfriend at the time of the murder.

Edwards leads the reader through the jury selection, the opening statements and the evidence presented by both the prosecution and defense in complete detail. But in the process of laying out these basic facts, Edwards perceptively explores a wide realm of issues, uncovering layer by layer the complicated answers to the questions that have hounded Marcia since her son’s death. How could someone so young kill another person so brutally? Why does Tyson show no remorse? Why would his girlfriend lie for someone who has shown no respect for her?

Edwards writes with compassion for her characters and with intuitive understanding of the effects of loss on a family, as well as the underlying causes that can lead to senseless crimes such as this one. The Mother is highly recommended for readers who enjoy current issue-related fiction by authors such as Jodi Picoult and Jacquelyn Mitchard.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The Mother

The Mother

By Yvvette Edwards
Amistad
ISBN 9780062440778

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