Book: Shadow Self
Author: Paula Marais
No mother is perfect...Thea Middleton is behind bars for an unthinkable crime. As she, her husband Clay and eldest daughter Sanusha try to repair their shattered lives, their individual accounts form the pieces of a tragic puzzle that will haunt them forever.-Goodreads
Review: Thea Middleton commits one of the worse crimes imaginable. We follow Thea as she struggles with mental illness, her husband Clay in his quest to 'fix' Thea and her daughter Sanusha as she grows up with an unstable mother.
Due to the subject matter of this book, this is not an easy read. We know what's coming and it's horrific on every level. Marais does a great job portraying Thea as both aggressor and victim, so much so that I equal parts hated and felt sorry for her. Clay went from being a delusional 'I can fix her if I love her enough' guy to someone I was practically shouting at through the pages, "Clay, can't you see she is unwell?!". But my favorite character and one I really loved and consistently felt sorry for was Sanusha. Sanusha is a brilliant child who knows something is not quite right with her mother.
Overall, a challenging, sad but very powerful read. I couldn't stop thinking about it once I finished. If you have suffered from post-partum depression, you may want to avoid this one.