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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘The Good Mother’ by Karen Osman


Cover Image Of 'The Good Mother' By Karen OsmanWhen I was invited to take part in the recent Blog Tour for this book, author and publisher provided a short extract for me to share with readers. The words were taken from the preface of the story, so for this week’s meme, I have also included ‘first lines’ from the official opening chapter!


He lunged at her and, whether it was the amount of wine he’d drunk making him clumsy or he had simply tripped over a chair leg, he came crashing down on the floor. Seeing the knife still in his hand, she didn’t hesitate. She turned and ran for her life…

CHAPTER 1 – CATHERINE  – 15 August 2010

Dear Michael,

My name is Catherine and I am a volunteer with the charity Friends of Inmate Rehabilitation. I hope things are as well as they can be.

When I was asked to correspond with you as part of the charity’s efforts to help prisoners, I was initially apprehensive. However, I reminded myself that we have a duty to help those less fortunate than ourselves, and I hope that through these letters I can give you a little insight into the outside world. The only information I have about you is your name and offence and I’m aware that you have spent over ten years in prison already. The charity informed me that you will soon be up for parole, which I’m sure you’re looking forward to. As a result, they assign people like me to help you prepare for life outside through letters.

Clicking on the book’s title will link you directly with it’s Goodreads listing.


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City Reader

Would the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

Visit your host, Gilion @ ‘Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • The preface gets off to such a suspenseful start! The first chapter is intriguing, but I think if I were the recipient of that letter, I might not like that line about “helping those less fortunate”. She might feel that way, but to write it in the letter? Comes off as a little condescending or self-righteous!

    • Hi Kelly,

      I must admit that the same thought went through my mind as I was writing the words into the post.

      I wonder what made Catherine think that Michael is less fortunate than herself, simply because he has spent 10 years in prison … surely it depends on the whys and wherefores of the murder he committed and what sort of lifestyle he is expecting when he is released. After all, Catherine confesses that she knows nothing about his circumstances!

      This line from the book’s premise is also a little worrying and would make me doubt the advantages of having strangers make contact with prisoners out of the blue!

      “she finds herself obsessing about his crime and whether he can ever truly be forgiven…”

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that things are okay with you 🙂

  • Hi Yvonne

    This fascinates me. I agree that the comment sounds condescending, but people do say (and write) the strangest things, don’t they? And it’s so interesting observing the interactions. I’d love to read this book, you’ve really got me hooked.

    I’m reading Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson.

    • Hi Bev,

      You are right, I often find myself hitting the ‘comment’ or ‘tweet’ button and then almost immediately wishing I hadn’t. What I have said either doesn’t make sense, or isn’t spelt correctly (or both), so embarrassing!

      I also tend to write, or say, exactly what I think, long before putting my brain into gear and working out that I should perhaps have been much more diplomatic!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, it is appreciated 🙂

    • Hi Lauren,

      When just a few scant lines have that affect on me, I generally find that the book is a winner. Not so much so if I have to think about the beginning for too long, or study any hidden meaning in the words too deeply!

      Thanks for the visit this week and ‘Happy Reading’ this weekend 🙂

    • Hi Kathy,

      I must admit that if a complete stranger wrote me a letter couched in those terms, I wouldn’t be too impressed or happy and I probably wouldn’t reply – unless of course, Michael has been told that the letter exchanges are a part of his release terms!

      At the start of the story, Catherine is very neat and ordered in her life by the sounds of things, maybe even a touch of OCD, so I guess such language wouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise. I am wondering whether her change in attitude later in the story is simply Catherine rethinking Michael’s situation, or if Michael himself brings influence and manipulation to bear on her thoughts?…

      “Catherine is a good mother and a good wife. The family home is immaculate, her husband’s supper is cooked on time, but when she starts writing to Michael, a prisoner convicted of murder, she finds herself obsessing about his crime and whether he can ever truly be forgiven…”

      Thanks for stopping by and ‘Happy Reading’ 🙂

    • Oh Yes!, Valentina,

      I do enjoy a good psychological thriller and for me, this is a completely new and unique story line, although I do personally know someone who wrote to a prisoner, here in the UK … Not something I could ever contemplate doing!!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope that you have a good weekend, with some great reading 🙂

    • Hi Katherine,

      This is a debut novel by the author, hopefully with many more to follow!

      There are three female characters who feature in the story line, so I am certainly going to have some thinking to do whilst I read and try to work out exactly why the prisoner Michael, is so central to them all …

      “Three women – all with secrets. And as the days tick down to Michael’s release, those secrets can no longer be ignored.”

      I have no idea where this one is going, but thanks for wanting to be in on the journey 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      As it is in the book’s premise, I wouldn’t be giving too much away by revealing that Michael is a convicted murderer, about to be released after serving a ten year sentence, which Catherine knows when she writes to him!

      There are however, three female protagonists whose stories run simultaneously in the book, so it really is anybody’s guess which one of them is being chased by the knife wielding man and whether or not that man is Michael!!

      Great to hear from you and I hope that all is well 🙂

Written by Yvonne