Jee reviews #MotherCountry by #IrinaReyn #Netgalley #StMartinsPress #eARC #WomensFiction

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Title/Author: Mother Country by Irina Reyn

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

In a nutshell:

Nadia’s daily life in south Brooklyn is filled with small indignities: as a senior home attendant, she is always in danger of being fired; as a part-time nanny, she is forced to navigate the demands of her spoiled charge and the preschooler’s insecure mother; and as an ethnic Russian, she finds herself feuding with western Ukrainian immigrants who think she is a traitor.

The war back home is always at the forefront of her reality. On television, Vladimir Putin speaks of the “reunification” of Crimea and Russia, the Ukrainian president makes unconvincing promises about a united Ukraine, while American politicians are divided over the fear of immigration. Nadia internalizes notions of “union” all around her, but the one reunion she has been waiting six years for – with her beloved daughter – is being eternally delayed by the Department of Homeland Security. When Nadia finds out that her daughter has lost access to the medicine she needs to survive, she takes matters into her own hands.

Mother Country is Irina Reyn’s most emotionally complex, urgent novel yet. It is a story of mothers and daughters and, above all else, resilience.

My thoughts:

It started off with a very strong introduction and got me interested. And I held my hopes high for the rest of the story.

This novel is about motherhood, immigration and the struggles a mother faces when being separated from their family members. Nadia, who successfully migrated to US was struggling to not only adapt to her new life in NYC, but was also facing challenges trying to get her daughter over to the US. To earn her living, she worked as a part time nanny to a rambunctious 4 year-old and a carer for an elderly Russian man.
 
I really wanted to like this story as much as the gorgeous cover, but I just couldn’t. There was very little showing and a lot of telling in the narration. I struggled to even connect to the main character, Nadia, let alone other characters in the story, and there were so many of them.
 
I personally find there was too much focus on Nadia’s life in NY, and I couldn’t sense her urgency of getting her daughter over to the US. I was also left blinded of her daughter’s life over in Ukraine at the present moment. It would’ve been great to get her POV, her own chapters. There were also times I had a tough time with the transition from past to present.
 
Regrettably, there wasn’t really anything that pulled me forward in the story, and the ending was pretty much expected.
 
Thank you Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
 
*Quotes included here are from an advanced readers copy and are subject to change upon final publication. 

Have you read this? What did you think? If not, do you intend to? Please let me know your thoughts!

Till then, HAPPY READING!


14 Comments Add yours

  1. That is a shame, Jee. I hope your next read is a lot better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      THank you so much, Stephen! I was really hoping for this to be a superb book…but oh well, things like this happen! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nsfordwriter says:

    It sounds like a realistic book, perhaps based on the experience of the author of someone she knows. Sorry it was not a page turner for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      Yeah perhaps you’re right..but I also think it’s the writing style and how everything was put together that affected the quality of the story.. And it would’ve been so much better if there was a POV of the MC’s daughter, her situation in Ukraine etc.. I was really looking forward to loving this book… But oh well, on to the next! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. nsfordwriter says:

        The writing style and structure can really affect your enjoyment of a book, you have good suggestions for how it could have been improved. Hope you like the next book more 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jee Wan says:

        Thank you, NS! I hope so too! Keeping my fingers and toes crossed 😅

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a bummer, Jee! I had high hopes for this one! Wonderful review and on to reads you love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      Thank you, Jennifer!!😘

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review, Jee! Sorry this wasn’t a favorite. You made a lot of good points 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      Thank you, Mack! ❤️

      Like

  5. Rae Longest says:

    Good review/good post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      Thank you, Rae! How are you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rae Longest says:

        If it got any better, I couldn’t stand it. Am doing my first, hopefully annual Literacy Celebration at our public library this afternoon. Just loaded three items in car in case it rains when I need to get ready: large box/baskets/enormous tote bag. I have leftover paper plates and napkins from every party I’ve had in the last year. Today should “use them up”–repurposing is another passion of mine. Wish us luck!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jee Wan says:

        Wish you all the best! Hope everything goes as planned! 💪😊

        Liked by 1 person

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