Book Review: Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff

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Mother Knows

Publish Date: September 10, 2019

Since I’m carrying this Frankenbaby, I get to set the terms.” — Mother Knows Best

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Claire Abrams’s dreams became a nightmare when she passed on a genetic mutation that killed her little boy. Now she wants a second chance to be a mother, and finds it in Robert Nash, a maverick fertility doctor who works under the radar with Jillian Hendricks, a cunning young scientist bent on making her mark—and seducing her boss.

Claire, Robert, and Jillian work together to create the world’s first baby with three genetic parents—an unprecedented feat that could eliminate inherited disease. But when word of their illegal experiment leaks to the wrong person, Robert escapes into hiding with the now-pregnant Claire, leaving Jillian to serve out a prison sentence that destroys her future.

Ten years later, a spunky girl named Abigail begins to understand that all is not right with the reclusive man and woman she knows as her parents. But the family’s problems are only beginning. Jillian, hardened by a decade of jealousy and loss, has returned—and nothing will stop her from reuniting with the man and daughter who should have been hers.

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Much of what we eat on a daily basis is a genetically modified organism (GMO). GMOs are food products derived from plants that have been genetically modified to exhibit certain desired characteristics or “superpowers” like resisting disease or having more nutrients. Some people fear that consuming GMOs can directly interact with their own DNA and cause mutations in themselves.

If you think the concept of GMOs is crazy, this book takes it to a whole new level with a Genetically Modified Human (GMH). This living, breathing GMH called Abigail has three genetic parents! MIND BLOWN.

The story brings up thought-provoking questions and the ethics of genetically modifying your child and the impacts of this decision. The story is told in multiple 1st person POVs alternating between Then and Now.  This is a fascinating psychological thriller that tackles the moral question about creating genetically “perfect” children.

My favorite quotes:

We do what we can to survive… and we’re stronger for it.”

“There’s only room for one mother in this family.”

“Human life is sacred, not fodder for irresponsible experimentation with unknown consequences.”

“Anyone who thinks sexism is a myth has never been a woman in science.”

“I’m about to be sentenced for a crime that has no business being a crime.”

I don’t have a scientific background, but the author obviously does and there were many fascinating scientific details explained. It’s a believable story, because it can actually happen. We’re not too far off from GMHs being a reality.

The title is perfect because it reminds me of the song Mother Knows Best from the Disney movie Tangled. That song and this book are creepy, dark, and evokes a very ominous vibe. Also, this book has a cool cover of a hair braid and Tangled has a tie to hair, too!

I loved this book. It’s a unique thriller with unreliable characters, great twists, unexpected surprises, and good character development. Abigail’s parts are a little less believable because she’s 11 (and I’m not sure that an 11 year old can pull off some of the things that she did), but you just have to go with it.

This book is about loss, motherhood, relationships, biology, love, parenting, marriage, moral ethics, and mental illness. It’s fast paced, riveting, and binge worthy. The writing is excellent, and the plot stands out in the sea of psychological thrillers. I highly recommend it!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley  Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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