So when a new patient arrives at the unit - a young man who looks shockingly like Tom - she is floored.
As a therapist, Ruth knows exactly what she should do in the best interests of her client, but as a mother she makes a very different choice - a decision that will have profound consequences.
I'd like to thank Niriksha and Namra at Faber & Faber for my proof copy of A Good Enough Mother to review and inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.
The last thing therapist Ruth Hartland expected when she takes on a new client is to be conflicted with her own feelings and emotions which blurs the lines between the professional and personal. What follows is an exploration into Ruth's life, both past and present, which provides us with a insight into who she is as a person and her relationships with her family as well as her therapist/patient relationships.
At just over 300 pages A Good Enough Mother is a quick, tense and complex read that really draws you into the drama unfolding. You can't help but want to know more about Ruth's own story as it was obvious that there was a lot more going on than first meets the eye and it's only over time that we learn that she is struggling with not knowing what has happened to her son Tom who disappeared without a trace two years previously.
Despite Ruth being a highly respected therapist and director of a trauma clinic she seemed to be a woman very much on the edge. She works with people who have been through or suffered traumatic experiences to help them come to terms with what they have been through and learn ways to live with and cope with the after effects but yet there's no-one to support her with what she's going through as she's kept Tom's disappearance a secret from her colleagues.
At times I really wanted to shake Ruth and say 'what are you doing?' as she knew that she was overstepping boundaries with regards to her dealings with Dan but yet she couldn't seem to help herself. Also I couldn't understand why she was keeping Tom's disappearance a secret at work as it was like she was having to live two completely separate lives. She wants her clients to unburden their feelings during their appointments but yet she wasn't practising what she preached!
A Good Enough Mother was an intense read filled with raw emotion and having read the bio of the author it's clear that she's drawn on her own personal experience as a clinical psychologist to help explore mental health issues and the human psyche within the pages of this book.