Early reviews are coming in for my new novel, Mother of Pearl, and I’m blown away by the thoughtful and insightful responses to the book so far.
Author Cass Moriarty writes, ‘In Mother of Pearl, author Angela Savage has given us a wonderfully diverse and engaging book with confronting themes that are sure to be hotly debated over a glass of wine in book clubs all over Australia. This is a nuanced and complex story of parenthood, most particularly what it means to be a mother. It’s a story of family – the yearning to create a family, and the sacrifices we are prepared to make in order to establish and maintain a family.’
Avid reader Armed With A Book, aka Kriti Khare, in a reflective review of the book’s themes writes ‘[Mother of Pearl] is a powerful narrative on the ethical issues that one confronts in surrogacy, about the rights of the mother that bears the child, and the mother who keeps them… This is one of the best books I have read this year and I learned new things about Thailand and surrogacy.’
As well as writing her generous review of Mother of Pearl, Kriti interviewed me on Armed With A Book. Kriti asked insightful questions, and I greatly enjoyed our interview. But I was blown away when I read her final write up, as the ending contains a most wonderful coincidence — the kind of coincidence, as author Barbara Trapido once said, that you could never get away with in fiction. Further proof of what I think of as the magic of fiction and the way it connects people.
One of the most affirming responses I’ve had to Mother of Pearl came from Dr Linda Kirkman. In what was one of the first IVF surrogacy cases in the world, Linda carried and gave birth to her sister Maggie’s daughter Alice back in 1988. (I mention them in this post about the inspiration behind Mother of Pearl, and also cited Linda’s writing in my PhD thesis). Given Linda has a more intimate understanding of surrogacy than most, to have her describe the novel as ‘brilliant’ is high praise indeed.
And Lisa Hill at ANZLitLovers writes, ‘The book is written in three parts: Preconception; Gestation and Afterbirth, and although the reader feels fairly confident that a baby will be born, the narrative tension is maintained by the uncertainty that surrounds commercial transactions of this type… However, I think it’s the ethical decisions that will engage readers most.’
I’ve also been visiting a few blogs.
I was delighted to be interviewed by author Amanda Curtin, whose work I’ve long admired, for her terrific 2, 2 and 2 series. On Amanda’s blog, I talk about two things that inspired Mother of Pearl, two places connected with the book (spoiler: they are Melbourne and Bangkok), and two favourite things about writing Mother of Pearl.
At Booklover Book Reviews, I posted about what inspired me to write Mother of Pearl.
And I wrote about Switching Genres on the blog of my fellow author and friend Lee Kofman.
In the next day or so, I’ll upload links to some of the radio interviews and podcasts I’ve been doing. So stay tuned (no pun intended!).