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The Mother Fault cover art

The Mother Fault

By: Kate Mildenhall
Narrated by: Claudia Karvan
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Publisher's Summary

The breakout novel called ‘a triumph’ by Jane Harper, The Mother Fault is the riveting tale of one woman taking on the world to save her own.

‘A triumph of a novel. Five stars. I loved it. Thrilling, confronting, page-turning and heartbreakingly poignant, The Mother Fault is a remarkable story.' Jane Harper, bestselling author of The Dry

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.

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.

Longlisted for the 2021 ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year

‘Sublime . . . a timely, riveting, warning bell of a book.’ Books+Publishing

‘Brilliant. A raw, urgent, white-knuckle ride through a world only a heartbeat away’ James Bradley, author of Ghost Species

‘Clever, political, pacy and exciting. Pure diamond-edged propulsive power.’ Chris Flynn, author of Mammoth

‘Shook me to my core. I could not put it down’ Alice Robinson, author of The Glad Shout

‘A clarion call, wrapped in vivid prose, inside a truly thrilling read’ Angela Savage, author of Behind the Night Bazaar

‘An unvarnished, beautifully written, totally authentic tribute to the everyday badassery and bullshit of motherhood, to the ordinary extraordinariness of women. It’s also a fast-paced edge-of-your-seat, heart-in-your-mouth adventure with an ending worthy of a Homeland season finale.’ Anna Downes, author of The Safe Place

'A literary thriller that speaks precisely, devastatingly, to its time.' The Monthly

'Kate Mildenhall has imagined a world as terrifying and visionary as Margaret Atwood’s Gilead, with the pace of the best thrillers – and characters I’ll never forget. This is a novel of rare insight from a rising literary star.' J.P. Pomare, author of Call Me Evie

'The true power of this novel is in its appalling plausibility. That, and the fact that it is impossible to put down.’ Readings Monthly

©2020 Kate Mildenhall (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Australia

Critic Reviews

‘From the first few pages, I knew I was going to be finishing The Mother Fault the same day I had started. Kate Mildenhall has imagined a world as terrifying and visionary as Margaret Atwood’s Gilead, with the pace of the best thrillers—and characters I’ll never forget. This is a novel of rare insight from a rising literary star.’  (J.P. Pomare, author of Call Me Evie and In the Clearing

'The Mother Fault is a clarion call, wrapped in vivid prose, inside a truly thrilling read. Mildenhall has written a page-turner that also delivers on beautiful language, vivid characterization and emotional complexity. It is a sensual delight. When I wasn’t gasping in suspense, I was sighing with pleasure at the dazzling prose’ (Angela Savage, author of Mother of Pearl and Behind the Night Bazaar)

‘In The Mother Fault, Kate Mildenhall has achieved that rare thing—a book that at once tackles the big issues and is an addictive page-turner. The near-future Mildenhall has created is not only believable but disturbingly familiar. At its heart is a timeless story of motherhood—an expert and moving portrayal of the lengths a mother will go to in order to save her family.’ (Melanie Cheng, author of Australia Day and Room for a Stranger)

What listeners say about The Mother Fault

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  • Overall
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Worthy read

Love Claudia Karvan’s narration. Despite a slight lull in the middle, The Mother Fault is a great story with flawed yet interesting characters. Enjoyed it!

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7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not a thriller. Only the narration got me through.

Definitely not a "thriller." A very predictable story about an over controlling mother and her two intensely annoying children. To give credit, I'm sure that's exactly what this kind of world would make a mother but that did not make for enjoying listening.
Claudia Karvan was great. Hated listening to her speak as the whiney son but I'm not sure there was any way she could have made that better.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Frustrating

I nearly gave up but had to read to the end to see if it got any better. It didn’t

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love love love this book

A wonderful book made real by the delightful Claudia Karvan.
An imaginative take on a dystopian future that I wish did not feel possible
Please write more.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Annoying protagonist.

The story promises a lot, and the narrator does a wonderful job, but the protagonist comes across as self-serving, irrational and makes many seemingly unthought-out decisions.
Unfortunately, in my view, the ending felt like the author just ran out of ideas of how to finish the book.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gripping Oz Noir

Loved the book. It was made even better because of the superb narration by Claudia Karvan.

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5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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winner!

great story..not to far fetched which made it believable. Claudia Karvan is a brilliant narrator.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Infuriating main character

Claudia Karvan's excellent narration saved this for me (even though she can't pronounce 'nuclear' correctly), but the infuriatingly useless main character and the glaring plot holes very nearly had me giving up several times. This stupid woman disrespected her children, particularly the 11 year old, by refusing to explain anything about what was going on and made a difficult situation, sooo.. much more difficult than it needed to be. She was supposed to be a professional geologist, someone who must have needed to be self-reliant in her work, but seemed to rely completely on others (i.e. men) to do everything for her. She eventually gained some strength but only by being thrown in the deep end. And what the heck happened to Nick?

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

very little resemblance to blurb

The story had very little to do with an imagined future, it was more about a hysterical mother

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Deliciously Unnerving near future thriller

Thrilling dystopian thriller! Cleverly blurs the line between reality and fiction. Superb Claudia Karvan narration

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