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The Making of Her

Bernadette Jiwa's powerful debut novel is unforgettable.

The Making of Her, the debut novel by Bernadette Jiwa, is a gem. It is an emotional and compelling work of historical fiction that examines family dynamics and the limited choices available to women in Ireland in the 1960s. I could not put it down.

Told in dual timelines of the 1960s and the 1990s, we meet Joan and her husband, Martin. Joan has been drowning in guilt and grief for 30 years. Raised in poverty by an alcoholic father, Joan becomes pregnant out of wedlock. Due to the harsh societal constraints of the time, she and Martin give that child up for adoption. Joan then struggled to bond with her second daughter, and she and Martin do not discuss the child they gave up. Then, unexpectedly, that child contacts them one day asking for a life-and-death favor. Absorbing and raw, this story about mothers and daughters is heart-wrenching.

I enjoyed Jiwa's writing style. Her exploration of her character's emotions and motivations was complex, and character development was strong. Thought-provoking and tightly crafted, this is a page-turner of a book.

I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Group Dutton for the opportunity to read this ARC.

The publication Date is August 9, 2022

My steep was a Lavender Earl Grey from the English Tea Store.

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