by Kathleen Norris
200 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by Nienna

Enjoyable read with good values except the lack of God.


Twenty-one year old Margaret Paget is tired of her life in ugly little Weston, tired of teaching school, and tired of everything being wrong in her family of too many siblings. When the world-renowned Mrs. Carr-Boldt of New York offers her a job as a secretary and a nanny for her children, Margaret thinks that all her dreams are going to come true. Mrs. Carr-Boldt has done so much more with her life than Margaret's mother who has only raised children - right?


Margaret is discontent and focused on worldly things, but she later repents of that. A selfish and petty woman is viewed by Margaret as a role model for most of the book. The mother is an excellent and virtuous woman, but she doesn't instill her values into a few of her children. Selflessness and humility are key points in the book.

Spiritual Content

Characters pray and go to church, but God has little to do with their daily life.


A little girl is knocked down by a car, but not badly hurt. Characters get sick.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content

Characters get engaged and marry.

Crude or Profane Language or Content



A pretty story with a nice ending, 'Mother' has sympathetic characters and a good theme - that one can get as much fulfillment from raising children as from being a wealthy social queen. Personally, I was disappointed by the lack of focus on God. The book suggests that women can pour their talents into an out-of-home career or they can pour their talents into their children, the question being which is more worthwhile to them. There is no concept of doing what God calls one to, or of giving one's life to His service. For the vast majority of the book, we see the family and circumstances through Margaret's eyes, so many things seem wrong and the family unpleasant, though this is countered at the end. The characters are enjoyable and easy to relate to - Margaret in particular - and the lessons about humility and selflessness are nicely done. Their familial love shows sweetly throughout the book.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 4
Written for Age: adult

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