Have you ever read something that felt so overwhelmingly real that you questioned reality? Mine by Susi Fox makes you question the sanity of the narrator, main character Sasha, the possible outcomes becoming more and more improbable as you explore the events leading to the birth of Sasha’s first child.
It’s every parent’s nightmare and it’s every new mother’s fear-waking up alone after giving birth, with no partner or child in sight. As we get to know Sasha and her partner, Mark, we come to learn of the darker sides of giving birth, as the improbabilities become reality in Fox’s concise words.
Her halting way of writing only serves as a tool to help the reader connect with Sasha – how else would a clinically trained pathologist react to the situation unfolding before her? Fox weaves intimate moments into precise and methodological periods of clarity that seem to envelope the reader. She manages to effortlessly flow from Sasha’s apparent moments of psychosis to her clinical self through the use of vague and non-committal language and detailed paragraphs that appear almost like clinical notes in a patient file.
Fox writes with sleek descriptions and tight dialogue, a thoroughly enjoyable writing style that enhances the authenticity of the story. Lovers of psychological thrillers will adore this book, but beware of the time you will spend questioning your own sanity on its completion. There’s nothing worse than not being believed when you’re telling the truth, and this will put you to the ultimate test. It brings important issues to the surface, the reality of being a woman in pain in the hospital, harking back to the days when women were committed to asylums for ‘hysteria’.
Fox manages to highlight serious issues like post-natal depression and the struggle that is the reality of bringing a newborn home, bringing to the surface that motherhood is not a walk in the park for many.
Overall, a brilliant story with important points to make, backed by authenticity, and written beautifully.
Reviewed by Zoe Butler
Rating out of 10: 9
Distributed by: Penguin Random House Australia
Released: April 2018
RRP: $32.99 trade paperback, $26.99 Audiobook, $12.99 eBook