Still Waters – By Camilla Noli

Disturbing, and at times unbelievable. Chilling and confronting.

still waters

This book is narrated by the main character (whose name ironically is not mentioned at all throughout the book).  She is in her 30’s, and in societies eyes your typical career woman, wife, lover, and she knows what she wants.  She thought she wanted to be a mother, she thought she had the maternal feelings within her to do this job well; but she didn’t.

She is married to Daniel who has a great job, wife and life; and she is mum to Cassie a headstrong and typical terrible 2 and baby Zach.  Her life has been turned upside down and motherhood is not what she expected and she is not feeling the love a society tells her that she should for her children, one in particular.

She is deeply sleep deprived and exhausted.  She is showing the signs of what this is doing to her both physically and mentally.  She is jealous of the relationship between Cassie and Daniel, and she is jealous of the life that her husband has, that she now hasn’t, in her role of mother.

She has disturbing thoughts, so disturbing that at times I had to put this book down to gather my thoughts before I read on.  She commits the most unthinkable crime. She has no remorse for it, she only sees how this will make her life better again; to get her back to how it was before motherhood.  She wants to get her identity back.

I openly gasped throughout this book at some of the acts and thoughts that she has; but it was deeply thought provoking about how we as mothers deal with losing our identity when our children are born. How we cope with severe sleep deprivation and how this effects out mental and physical state. How children effect out marriages, friendships and careers.

What is discussed in this book is seen to be taboo subjects. I think that is why I found it quite confronting.  It is things that go on often behind closed doors in the dark of night for mothers who just aren’t coping; that can’t get help or realise that they need help.

It is a challenging read and one that some people will find emotionally stressful an too close to home.

I’ve rated this book /5

(PS – I have this book if anyone would be interested in reading it, let me know).

What are you reading at the moment?




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  1. I find reading books like that too confronting, I mean I don’t shy away from disturbing, I have just finished The Book of Night Women by Marlon James, I’ve read This House of Grief, and so many dark, truthful gut-wrenching tales. My own writing usually leans towards the darker side of life and emotion too. But, specifically, mums not coping, children suffering, infanticide… all too traumatic for me. At the moment anyway.
    I enjoyed your critique, it reminds me of a program the RN did, maybe two years ago about mothers and murders. There have been a few famous cases and it investigates how and why our society thinks of it as the worst crime ever. Like ever!! I’ll try to dig it up for you.
    I’m trying to read something gentle and comforting at the moment, after Marlon James, one needs something predictable and soothing. Maybe a bit of Pride and Prejudice or The Girl with the Pearl Earing. I feel better just thinking about them:)

    Liked by 1 person

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