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Publisher's Summary

Imagining a near future Australia that is all too disturbingly familiar, The Mother Fault is an addictive thriller, a heart-pounding adventure and a moving portrayal of the lengths a mother will go to save her family.

"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, best-selling author of The Dry

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.

Longlisted for the 2021 ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year

Shortlisted for the 2020 Aurealis Awards, Best Science Fiction Novel

"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)

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

Critic Reviews

"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. A smart, confronting and compelling read." (Melanie Cheng, author of Australia Day and Room for a Stranger)

"Kate Mildenhall raises big questions in this riveting thriller about the moral reckoning that will be demanded of us by future generations for our actions and inaction. But at the heart of The Mother Fault is a deeply human tale, one that prevails against and rises above political agendas: the need to protect those we love. This is exactly the kind of story we need right now; one that observes with lacerating honesty what we risk becoming." (Sally Piper, author of The Geography of Friendship and Grace’s Table

"The Mother Fault looks unflinchingly into a terrifyingly plausible future. I could barely catch my breath while reading.... The Australia Mildenhall conjures is at once recognisable and destabilising, beautiful and horrific, taut and emotionally resonant. It shook me to my core. I could not put it down." (Alice Robinson, author of Anchor Point and The Glad Shout

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What listeners say about The Mother Fault

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

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!

7 people found this helpful

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Like listening to a great tv series.

I honestly loved this so much Claudia Karvan is brilliant and the story has so much depth and character for something that is also so fast paced. The world building is so compelling and so eerily presentient of 2020.

5 people found this helpful

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Gripping Oz Noir

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

4 people found this helpful

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Great Book

Kept me on the edge of my seat
The reader was perfect for this story
I rarely review the audio books unless really moved to do so
Thanks Kate and Claudia !

4 people found this helpful

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meh

the first half was interesting, but it just petered out till the end. i didn't like alot of the main characters decisions.
The narrator was pretty good.

4 people found this helpful

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Flimsy storyline and helpless lead character

Gritted my teeth to endure this audiobook to the end. The main character makes no choices of her own and relies on others (mostly men) for direction. Then there are so many holes in the story line it’s barely held together. The starter motor which is miraculously fixed by tightening two bolts? No explanation of what happens to Nick? The false tsunami alarm that suddenly brings together all the characters for a grand finale? The ending felt rushed and unbelievable. Would not recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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Futuristic Australian family thriller

Really enjoyed this family drama set in a dystopian future with strict government control and micro-chipped citizens. A family searches for their missing husband/father.

1 person found this helpful

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Claudia Karvan narration was brilliant

Good story that keeps you interested till the end, different from my usual books. Absolutely loved Claudia Karvan’s narration though, Could listen to her all day!

1 person found this helpful

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Exceptional dystopian Australian fiction

Kate Mildenhall has done a great job of absorbing the age old maternal guilt trip with an eerie setting of the future in Australia.
congratulations to Kate for her character of Miriam, full of strength and determination amid the struggles of motherhood, family, marriage and career.
The narrator presented the book well, although I would have preferred a greater mix of intonation. It was rather gloomy.
I look forward to further books in this genre from Mildenhall.

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Predictable but sometimes you just need that!

The writing was plain, a little bit basic without any romanticism, I didn't fall in love with the story or the characters. I was happy to go until the end, but I wasn't sad it was over. It is predictable but it doesn't mean it is a bad book. I gave it a chance and don't regret it, I just won't read it again, but give it a chance, it could be right for you!

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.