Mother Tongue

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
554 0
Mother Tongue
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
August 06, 2019
ISBN
9781536202632
Buy This Book
      
On the day she brings her sweet little sister, Nika, to school for the first time, eighteen-year-old Darya has already been taking care of her family for years. But a joyous September morning shifts in an instant when Darya’s rural Russian town is attacked by terrorists. While Darya manages to escape, Nika is one of hundreds of children taken hostage in the school in what stretches to a three-day siege and ends in violence. In the confusion and horror that follow, Darya and her family frantically scour hospitals and survivor lists in hopes that Nika has somehow survived. And as journalists and foreign aid workers descend on her small town, Darya is caught in the grip of grief and trauma, trying to recover her life and wondering if there is any hope for her future. From acclaimed author Julie Mayhew comes a difficult but powerful narrative about pain, purpose, and healing in the wake of senseless terror.

Based on the shocking Beslan school siege in 2004, this is a brave and necessary story about grief, resilience, and finding your voice in the aftermath of tragedy.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Devastating, but Beautiful
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
As MOTHER TONGUE by Julie Mayhew begins, eighteen-year-old Darya envisions the bits of freedom she'll enjoy once her little sister, Nika, finally starts school. Darya has been Nika's primary caregiver since she was brought home from the hospital--their mother stayed in the hospital longer, and when their mom returned to the family, she confined herself to her bed and couldn't manage her parenting duties. Darya stepped up to fill the void for the new baby, and she loved her little sister like a mother--while resenting the parts of her own childhood that she forfeited.

On Nika's first day of school, a terrorist attack alters the lives of everyone in their town as they all deal with the aftermath of the death of so many loved ones. Nika is one of those who is taken hostage, then among the missing when the hostage situation is resolved, and then lost forever as the family identifies and claims her remains. MOTHER TONGUE chronicles Darya's attempts to deal with her loss, understand the way others manage theirs, and find a new life for herself absent her little sister.

MOTHER TONGUE is devastating to read, and Julie Mayhew's relates the stories of people who are broken in so many different ways. Her writing is beautiful, but spare, and much of the beauty is in her economy of words. I loved Darya's character, and I marveled at how well Mayhew brought her to life despite the book's brevity. MOTHER TONGUE is a coming-of-age book, but it's also one that covers grief, family relationships, dating relationships, and so much more.

I had to take frequent small breaks while I was reading MOTHER TONGUE. There's so much pain in the book that it was hard for me to absorb it all at once. That said, I was always anxious to get started on it again because I was so invested in the characters and their stories.

MOTHER TONGUE is a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it. My thanks to LibraryThing and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my unbiased review.
Good Points
Beautiful writing
Terrific main character
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Obsession
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
A classic sort of love story...except somebody might wind up...
The Project
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After...
Kingdom of Ink and Paper (The Betwixt and Between Chronicles Book 1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every book you’ve ever read. Every story you’ve ever ...
The First Holidays
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lila Weston is a pro at keeping secrets, but this...
Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen...
You Say It First
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
One conversation can change everything. Meg has her entire...
My High School Royal Boyfriend
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
ALEX A tragedy at Langley Estate puts my family...
The Forgotten World (The World Apart Series Book 3)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Clark thought he knew what grief was. Addie thought...
Tales from the Hinterland
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve “lush and deliciously...
Sisters of Shadow and Light
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson,...
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Willow Figure skating was supposed to be my whole...
Unchosen
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying...

Latest Member Reviews

The Obsession
 
4.7
"THE OBSESSION is a creepy and riveting YA thriller. Delilah lives with her mother and her mother's abusive boyfriend, a..."
The Project
 
4.3
"Lo Denham, magazine assistant and loner, is looking for her sister, Bea. Six years ago, Lo's parents died in a..."
The Night Circus
 
4.3
"I couldn’t begin to express how much I adore this book. This book, magically, soothed my temper and let me..."
Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
"WINGS OF EBONY is a beautifully crafted YA fantasy. A year has passed since Rue's life was irrevocably changed. Her..."
The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1)
 
4.3
"THE GILDED ONES by Namina Forna is a YA fantasy novel and the first book in the Deathless series. The..."
Unchosen
 
5.0
"UNCHOSEN is a fantastic and completely captivating YA apocalyptic fantasy, filled with feminism, friendship, sisterhood, and romance. Charlotte is the..."
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
"IN THE PENALTY BOX is a cute YA contemporary hockey romance. Willow is a figure skater heading for the Olympics,..."
The Afterlife of the Party (Afterlife, #1)
 
4.7
"THE AFTERLIFE OF THE PARTY is a YA vampire book for anyone who doesn't want to make out with the..."
The Alcazar (The Cerulean, #2)
 
3.0
"THE ALCAZAR wraps up an intriguing YA fantasy duology. The book continues to follow four main characters in alternating points-of-view,..."
Super Fake Love Song
 
4.0
"Super Fake Love Song is about Sunny Dae, a Korean American teenager who is a mega-nerd trying to survive at..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.3
"Ellie lives in Washington D.C. and attends an elite school, even though the tuition is a stretch for her single..."
The Cerulean
 
3.3
"THE CERULEAN is an intriguing start to a YA fantasy duology. The book begins with Sera, a Cerulean who has..."