Review: The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall

the-mother-fault-9781760854478_lgIn her second novel, Kate Mildenhall writes about a woman in extremis.

Her engineer husband is missing, last seen at the Golden Arc mine site in Indonesia. Everyone is looking for him. But the Department — the all-seeing body of the an enigmatic Australian government — is hunting him. Ben’s tracking chip — implanted beneath his skin, like the rest of the population, because ‘you want to know where your people are when the world becomes a shifting, wild, hungry thing’ — has gone dark. And now The Department vultures are circling. They’ve taken Mim’s passport. They’ve threatened to resettle her two children at the notorious BestLife. Their instructions are simple: remain in place until the matter is resolved.

In a society intently stripping its population of their autonomy, it’s a routine request. But Mim — for so long shackled by the expectations of motherhood, of being a wife, of being a sister, of being a good citizen; dominated by fear, pain and helplessness — decides to escape the horrors of bondage. With her children in tow, she flees; across the Australian outback, and on a perilous sea voyage to Indonesia, Mim is pushed to her absolute limits as she seeks to reunite her family. Liberated from the confines of her identity, she becomes something else; a consequence of her circumstances: a trailblazing heroine. A hero of our times, displaying unimaginable ingenuity and resourcefulness.

“The Mother Fault” is a rare creation. It is a work of powerful urgency, a literary thriller decorated with luminous sentences and meditations on motherhood, totalitarianism, love and independence. In painting a realistic portrait of tomorrow, Mildenhall sounds an urgent clarion for today. She has crafted a brilliantly pacy, visceral and intimate adventure story, demonstrating an unparalleled ability to convey tenderness as acutely as violence. “The Mother Fault” is an emotional and political powerhouse.

One thought on “Review: The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s