The School for Good Mothers – Jessamine Chan
Thriller, mothers, institutions, Chinese American, single mothers, science fiction, motherhood, fiction.
Frida decides to go take care of business and left her child at home for an hour and a half. While she is out running errands, she gets a haunting phone call that CPS (Child Protective Services) has her child. She temporarily lost custody of her child until she is proven fit and CPS put surveillance to ensure that Frida is following the rules. After the court ruling, she is sent to a rehabilitation school for bad mothers to be turned into good mothers. While there she learns that she has to fall in line with the system or face the consequences of losing her child.
I thought this book wasn’t going to mess me up but then it did. This novel spoke about the realities of what POC and or poor mothers go through the scrutiny with CPS and child welfare. Chan really created a dystopia of what it really could be turned into in the future of child welfare, especially with the direction of technology and the increased standards of being parents. This fiction isn’t real but it reflects a lot of reality and it was so scary reading this because there is a lot of points that were made about how to be a mother and what it means to be a mother. I enjoyed reading this because of the realness and the rawness. The characters all had their reason to be at that institute and even though they are background characters, Chan made them important and relevant to the main character Frida and what she is going through. Their voices were as important as the main character. I do recommend this novel for those who are into this type of fiction but be forewarned this wasn’t easy to read either because these characters were made so realistic that I felt that I knew them personally.