Your Preview Verdict: The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall

Your Preview Verdict: The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall

You will not recognise me, she thinks, when I find you…

Mim’s husband is missing. No one knows where Ben is, but everyone wants to find him – especially The Department. And they should know, the all-seeing government body has fitted the entire population with a universal tracking chip to keep them ‘safe’.

But suddenly Ben can’t be tracked. And Mim is questioned, made to surrender her passport and threatened with the unthinkable – her two children being taken into care at the notorious BestLife.

Cornered, Mim risks everything to go on the run to find her husband – and a part of herself, long gone, that is brave enough to tackle the journey ahead.

From the stark backroads of the Australian outback to a terrifying sea voyage, Mim is forced to shuck off who she was – mother, daughter, wife, sister – and become the woman she needs to be to save her family and herself.

Read some 5 star reviews from our Preview readers here:

The Mother Fault is an intense, fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, following Mim’s journey in her search for her missing husband and defying all odds to protect her family. With everyone against her, Mim’s journey to find her husband takes her across the country, outback, and ocean, with her two children in tow. Kate Mildenhall creates a scarily probable futuristic dystopian world with many significant parallels to our current society. I highly recommend this book to anyone as it hits all the rights places to make the reader both unsettled and intrigued. Absolutely impossible to put down and had me holding my breath until the very last page. – Rhiannon, WA, 5 Star

A fantastic read. Set in the future but still resonates with the world with we live in today. Has left me thinking well after I put the book down. – Jackie, TAS, 5 Stars

A wonderfully blended story of how a societal change can stealthily manifest, whilst steeped in Australian culture and everyday characters. The exploration of Mim as an ordinary Aussie Mum, doing the best she knows how whilst always second-guessing her parenting and associated natural thoughts, is a realistic portrayal which will resonate with many readers. The fleshing out of other characters continues throughout, with further, interesting information being brought out to the reader along the way and maintaining the interest and thirst for knowing what happens next. The knowledge and/or research by the author is accurately portrayed in a variety of areas: ‘adulting’ and parenting, children’s characters of different ages and sibling interaction, boating, the Australian landscape and cultural references plus adult interrelationships. At times the text is raw, blunt and a little confronting, but not in a gratuitous attempt to be edgy. It is real, relevant and appropriate for the place and context and deepens the ‘reality’ of the story. This was a fantastic read and difficult to put down. It has spurred the search for Kate’s previous novel and flagged as an author to follow. – Merilyn, WA, 5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book! Kate Mildenhall’s The Mother Fault is not something I would normally have chosen but I’m so glad I read it. Scary how easy it was to imagine Australia as Kate described! Hoping that there will be a sequel as there are questions I still want answered! I definitely recommend this book. – Joanne, QLD, 5 Stars

A page-turner of a book a thrilling read set in Australia. Mim’s husband, Ben, is missing and she is forced to make dangerous choices involving her family and children, there are a lot of issues and questions in this book. Hope readers enjoy this book as much as I did. – Gavin, NSW, 5 Stars

The Mother Fault is a really easy read for such a complex concept. I was captivated from the first page and propelled through the book, thirsty for more! It is a scary glimpse into what a dystopian Australia could look like in the not so distant future, underlying a strong need to survive at all costs that will keep you turning the pages as you creep to the edge of your seat. – Mercury, NSW, 5 Stars

Kate Mildenhall’s The Mother Fault is a compelling read. Set in the not-too-distant future this dystopian story particularly resonates during this time of Covid-19 with its stricter government controls, travel lockdowns and accompanying restrictions to daily life. This Australia is recognisable and yet discordant. Protagonist Mim must make extraordinarily daunting choices to protect her family; breaking The Department rules, leaving her safe life behind and taking her children on a dangerous forbidden journey in an attempt to find her missing husband. Mim’s terror and self-doubt are palpable. Mildenhall’s writing style is crisp, understated and evocative with every word essential. In Mim she has created a strong, complex character who sweeps the reader along on her quest to the story’s conclusion. I was fully engrossed in this fast-paced story and delighted by the ending when I was left to reconsider the implications of the title. – Susan, ACT, 5 Stars

I LOVED it!! I would never have thought I would have loved it, I don’t love dystopian fiction, especially not now but it was SO good!! I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it before! It was incredible and so well done, so well written and such compulsive reading all at the same time!! Absolutely loved it. – Anna, NSW, 5 Stars

I love, love, love this book. I devoured it. We follow Mim in her quest to find her husband, who has gone missing in a world where every individual is tracked and accounted for. As a character, Mim is everything I wanted her to be – loving, bold, fearful and, ultimately (strangely) relatable. The story is compelling, intelligent, confronting, and told beautifully. I would not hesitate to recommend this book! – Laura, SA, 5 Stars

Initially, I found this book quite confronting. Mim is living in a dystopian Australia, reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984, where everyone is microchipped and surveilled by ‘the department’. Yet Middenhall has a knack for drawing the reader in as she deftly brings the story to life. As a mother, Mim’s story resonated with me. Mildenhall describes perfectly the minutiae of motherhood. The tears. The tantrums. The love. The guilt. Amongst all of this chaos, Mim’s husband is missing, sending her, and her children, on a journey fraught with danger to find him. The Mother Fault is a real page-turner, and I could not put it down until I had devoured every page. – Anne, VIC, 5 Stars

The scariest part of this novel, is that it could easily come true. Clever use of the title covers the guilt many mothers feel bringing up their children with no manual as well as geological fault lines which tell a story of our past journeys. Government intervention in Mim’s life proves to be a slowly creeping, ever-changing vine which entangles and threatens her future. A mother’s love for her family proves itself at an unbearable cost to herself and those around her. This book reveals that people we think we know, surprise us to the last page. A thoroughly absorbing read and can’t wait for this author’s next book. – Shelley, NSW, 5 Stars

The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall is a real page-turner. It is a frightful look into just what the world could soon be like with everyone having a tracking chip, cameras everywhere and the department know everything about you. This book touches on family, love and lust. Mim, the mother and voice in the book, is a character I loved but also got frustrated with at times. She was a strong woman and you just wanted to see what she would do next. The children play an important role as well. The description of the settings was realistic and visual. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it. – Renee, QLD, 5 Stars

It took me a few chapters to get into this book, but once I did I was hooked. I could really relate to the main character Mim and her feelings of anxiety over the children and the resentment at being the parent who gave up her job to stay at home. In the beginning, it felt a little too science-fiction for me, but as I progressed, it actually became apparent that it was not too far fetched at all. It is alarming how easily our lives could end up so similar to this scenario. I liked how strong Mim’s character was, even though she didn’t realise her own strength. I also enjoyed seeing how much her confidence increased throughout the book. Kate Mildenhall’s superb writing made it so easy to keep turning the pages. The reminiscing and memories of previous events in Mim’s life helped to get a good grasp of her character and made for interesting reading. There were certain parts where I was literally biting my nails and I stayed up way too late to read ‘one more chapter’. The ending wasn’t quite what I expected but it was a fantastic ending and I would definitely recommend this book. – Donna, WA, 5 Stars

Kate Mildenhall has returned with a heart-stopping second novel in The Mother Fault. Set in a dystopian near-future so possibly real, it creates a sense of fear and menace that pervades the novel. This has to be one of the best books I have read in a long time. Kate Mildenhall has managed to create a fast-paced thriller that leaves you unable to put the book aside, with a cast of finely crafted characters that are entirely believable. The protagonist, Mim, gives the novel an intense human side and the reader cannot help but identify and empathise with a mother determined to save her family at all costs. This book has managed to capture very real fears we all hold for the future and yet provide hope in the form of the human spirit. The Mother Fault is an outstanding second novel and I cannot wait to read more of Mildenhall’s writing. – Sarah, NSW, 5 Stars

The Mother Fault is a great book! I have not read any of Kate Mildenhall’s books before. It tells you exactly what a mother will go through to keep her family safe and together. – Christine, QLD, 5 Stars

The Mother Fault is a book that at the moment in this world of COVID-19 seems as though the plot of this book could be possible. The book grabbed my attention from the moment I began reading. The plot and characters were well written due to the fact the characters were introduced well which made it easy to follow the story and the plot was easy to follow and drew you into the story. The main character was Mim. She is the mother of two, and it was easy to relate to her position and responsibilities as a mother. Her strength of character and courage was to be admired. I think most parents would behave the same if put in her position. As the story was easy to follow and had an intriguing plot, one wanted to continually read to the end. It was a book you could put down and easily pick up from where you left off, which I think makes a good writer. – Dianne, NSW, 5 Stars

I went into this book expecting something quite far fetched from reality, but it turned out to have much greater palpability than most would be personally comfortable with. In today’s current climate, The Mother Fault is a story that could easily slip from fiction to a grim actuality. Kate Mildenhall has given us a narrative that seems to have come forth from the depths of a crystal ball. Characters and locations so true to life and written with a real sense of presence in our current times. Mim was such a tangible persona – I have known so much of what is going on within her – definitely a character that I found thoroughly relatable. This was a story that kept me turning the pages, engrossed from beginning to end. – Tracey, SA, 5 Stars

Mim lives a life mostly on her own as her husband works overseas with visits home here and there. One day her husband Ben goes missing and is nowhere to be found. The weird thing is that each person has a chip implanted in them. It serves as a tracker, key to unlock doors and a card to access money but funnily enough this chip can’t track down Ben. Mim and her family’s passports are taken away to ensure she complies with one of Ben’s company’s rules of not travelling until he is found. Mim goes to visit her mum but receives a call from the Department noting her travel and threatening to take her kids away for doing so. Mim goes through a whirlwind of emotions as she does all she can to find her husband and reaches out to an old friend of hers, Heidi. Heidi helps Mim out and removes their chips so as to not get found by the Department and have her kids taken away but will Mim ever escape the Department and find Ben? – Francis, NSW, 5 Stars

Very enjoyable read. I really loved the depth of the characters and the mystery behind them all. Would highly recommend. – Jessie, QLD, 5 Stars

The Mother Fault grabbed my attention from the first page, introducing what would become the mission to be accomplished by the central character, Mim. A mother of two, Mim receives an enigmatic phone call informing her that her husband (who works away on an environmental project) seems to be missing. Set in rural Australia, the story shows us a futuristic, but not unrealistic modern landscape in terms of technology and environmental-climate… bringing to mind George Orwell’s once scandalous idea of Big Brother watching our every move! Despite, or indeed because of this, Mim shows her strength as a loving mother, ever protective, resourceful, desperate yet optimistic. I enjoyed the author’s writing style, especially when inside the mind of the main character… the short, sometimes incomplete sentences highlighted the sense of urgency that permeated the story from beginning to end. Not sure in which genre I would classify The Mother Fault, but a very enjoyable read, suitable even for a young adult audience. Look forward to reading more titles by Kate Mildenhall! – Michelle, QLD, 5 Stars

A brilliant read detailing the lengths a mother will go to keep her family together, stretch the boundaries and find what is hers. The characters are strong and the writing is thought-provoking, at times confronting and forces the reader to step into the protagonist’s shoes and wonder what they would do in that position. The Department details are ominous and believable, enticing the reader to again wonder if this will be a world we will see in the future. A brilliant and highly recommended read. – Helen, QLD, 5 Stars

Wow! This book blew me away! Very topical with the way the world stands at the moment, and it certainly gave me lots to think about. I loved the main character, Mim, with all her flaws intact and very honest views her own feelings and others as well. I found the kid’s characters were not quite as rounded but still equally as honest. An exciting tale with something for everyone, especially women, whether you’re a mother or not! Kate surely has a great gift for words with some of the descriptive prose quite beautiful and highly original. I will be passing this book along to my best bibliophile friends confident that they’ll love it as much as I did. – Faye, QLD, 5 Stars

Compared to The Handmaid’s Tale, I can see why but I wasn’t into that. I’ve read Kate’s Skylarking and these two books are so different. A female hero that does what needs doing to save her family. A terrifying powerhouse thriller with a killer ending. Give your preview copy to your male friends and they’ll come back to you with WOW. A few of my mates have read it in a few days like I did, my copy is happily dog eared from being borrowed. Better Reading, this is the best preview ever, thank you! – Rodney, NSW, 5 Stars

I read a review which said she is a hero of our times. There is nothing else to add to this besides READ IT! TEN STARS. BEST NOVEL OF 2020 AND BEYOND. – Louise, NSW, 5 Stars

The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall was definitely a great read. From the first page to the last you were brought along for the adventure. The thrilling storyline had me hooked. Just wanted to keep turning the page and read just one more page to see what happened. Along the way you learnt how the main character Mim would do anything to protect her family while trying to discover what secrets where out there waiting to destroy them all. This book is richly written, and one which I would highly recommend. – Christine, QLD, 5 Stars

Reviews

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                  Synopsis

                  You will not recognise me, she thinks, when I find you . . .Mim’s husband is missing. No one knows where Ben is, but everyone wants to find him – especially The Department. And they should know, the all-seeing government body has fitted the entire population with a universal tracking chip to keep them ‘safe’.But suddenly Ben can’t be tracked. And Mim is questioned, made to surrender her passport and threatened with the unthinkable – her two children being taken into care at the notorious BestLife.Cornered, Mim risks everything to go on the run to find her husband – and a part of herself, long gone, that is brave enough to tackle the journey ahead.From the stark backroads of the Australian outback to a terrifying sea voyage, Mim is forced to shuck off who she was – mother, daughter, wife, sister – and become the woman she needs to be to save her family and herself.
                  Kate Mildenhall
                  About the author

                  Kate Mildenhall

                  Kate Mildenhall is a writer and education project officer, who currently works at the State Library of Victoria. As a teacher, she has worked in schools, at RMIT University and has volunteered with Teachers Across Borders, delivering professional development to Khmer teachers in Cambodia. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in Hurstbridge, Victoria.

                  Books by Kate Mildenhall

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