The Sins of the Mother

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The Sins of the Mother

A Novel

We talk about having it all…the love of our lives, the dream job, and the family to boot. One thing this book really examines is the age old question. Can we really have it all? Now I was raised in a household where my mother was a homemaker and my father was an accountant. My father worked a pretty basic 9 to 5 schedule so I never felt as if he didn't have enough time for me. I was lucky in that regard. I know some kids that have both parents work and they barely have time for their children. Then there are other families that even though both parents work they find time for their children. Part of me is judging this book on a realistic standpoint, which might be why I didn't like the book so well. I had trouble relating to the main character Olivia.

Frankly I found the character Olivia to be forced. It is stated that Olivia feels bad for not being there for her children as much as she should have. This is stated several times, every three sentences to be exact. I feel like she is being forced to feel bad. It's stated several times in the book she never wanted children. She even cried when she realized she was pregnant because she was afraid it would ruin her career. She loves her job and she works hard. She made her choice. She shouldn't feel bad for providing for her family and doing what she loves. She made a conscious choice to focus on her career and not her family. The fact that she feels bad about it after 70 years is just odd. One would think she would have felt bad about it after her youngest daughter wrote her out of her life completely.

The fact that this sudden change of heart happens years after the fact just seems strange and useless. Plus the character was just an outright bitch. It's hard for me to feel bad for someone who doesn't truly want to change her ways. Not to mention the book was repetitive. I recommend this book for fans of Danielle Steel and that's about it.

Book Blurb for The Sins of the Mother

Every woman makes choices. And no one has made more difficult choices than Olivia Grayson. The enormously successful businesswoman missed out on much of her children’s lives while she built her legendary home-furnishings empire. In Danielle Steel’s character-rich new novel, Olivia faces the past, tries to balance the present, and makes amends where due, while still running her vastly successful business.


As a way of making up to them for time lost, Olivia spends months every year planning a lavish holiday that everyone in her family will enjoy. This summer she has arranged a dream trip in the Mediterranean on a luxurious yacht, which she hopes will be the most memorable vacation of all. Her lavish gesture every year expresses her love for them, and regret at all the important times she missed during her children’s younger years. Her younger daughter, Cassie, a hip London music producer, refuses the invitation altogether, as she does every year. Her older daughter, Liz, lives in her mother’s shadow, with a terror of failure as she tries to recapture her dream of being a writer. And her sons, John and Phillip, work for Olivia, for better or worse, with wives who wish they didn’t. In the splendor of the Riviera, this should be a summer to remember, with Olivia’s children, grandchildren, and daughters-in-law on board. But as with any family gathering, there are always surprises, and no matter how glamorous the setting things don’t always turn out as ones hopes.

Family dynamics are complicated, old disappointments die hard, and as forgiveness and surprising revelations enter into it, new bonds are formed, and the future takes on a brighter hue. And one by one, with life’s irony, Olivia’s children find themselves committing the same “sins” for which they blamed their mother for so many years. It is a summer of compassion, important lessons, and truth.

The Sins of the Mother captures the many sides of family love: complex, challenging, funny, passionate, and hopefully enduring. Along the way, we are enthralled by an unforgettable heroine, a mother strong enough to take more than her fair share of the blame, wise enough to respect her children for who they really are, and forgiving enough to love them unconditionally.

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2013 3.00