Mother’s: A novel of hoarding, friending and mischief by Linda Salisbury

Mother’s: A novel of hoarding, friending and mischief
Linda Salisbury
Tabby House (2012)
ISBN 9781881539612
Reviewed by April Sullivan for Reader Views (11/11)


“Mother’s” is the story of Lunie Pitts, her brother Dayton, and the troubles they come across while trying to clean out their deceased Mother’s house. As you can imagine, there are typically arguments when siblings are dividing an estate. But Lunie and Dayton’s mother was not typical. She was a hoarder – an issue that Lunie had been running from her entire life. Dayton, on the other hand, embraces the piles of stuff with love. When Dayton moves back to Mosby Gap to help Lunie clean out Mother’s house, the wild story begins.

This novel takes on many of today’s current topics including hoarding, which has become widely known through television shows on the subject; friending, everyone’s favorite new online activity; and mischief, and who doesn’t love a little mischief. Linda Salisbury smartly weaves together this book that caused mixed emotions of laughter and anxiety from beginning to end.

Salisbury’s descriptions of Mother’s overstuffed house with years of debris, is well written. Mother’s becomes as much of a character as Lunie and Dayton. The layers of craft materials, old food, broken furniture, and clothing are overwhelming to read about. I found myself cringing as Lunie loses control of her own clean house and her orderly life to her brother and his friends.

It is refreshing and exciting to find a book so full of creativity and an author willing to step out of the bounds of normalcy to create something believable, yet so strange, you hope it never happens to you. A teacup-sized greyhound, a stuffed moose with trap doors, an online therapist, a catalog of crazy costumes are some of the items found in Mother’s house. As I read fast and furious and fewer and fewer pages were left, I wondered how this book could possibly wrap up. The end was as random as the rest of the novel, in a good way.

On top of all this, there is a novel within a novel as Lunie struggles to complete a writing contest in thirty days. My only criticism of this book is that this portion of the story seemed unnecessary and could have been left out without threatening the plotline.

I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys a fast, fun read that will whisk you away from the troubles in your own life. After reading “Mother’s,” your problems will seem small.

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