Mothered by Zoje Stage

EXCERPT: Given how the evening was progressing, Grace was starting to think he was taking advantage of the situation. He hadn’t even asked what medications “Miss Jacquelyn” was on when she requested a teensy refill and he splashed more wine into her glass. It was a fraction of what he and Grace had consumed – she had a cheap shiraz on hand that they dived into after finishing Miguel’s much better merlot – but, his conversational efforts were revealing a mischievous undertone: she got the feeling he was plying her mom with alcohol.
His questions played into Jackie’s worst social tendency to spin a funny tale – often at someone else’s expense to make herself look witty. Miguel made it almost too easy, focusing on Grace’s awkward elementary school years; he asked what sorts of hobbies she’d had, if she’d sung in the choir or played any sports. The less drunk part of her thought that he was probably hoping to hear Jackie boast about Grace’s early talents, and maybe he was ready with supportive retorts, “She always loved a good karaoke night!”, or “So that’s how she learned to crush her opponents!” (Miguel believed she was too competitive when it came to board games.) He might also have been digging for more details about Hope.
‘Can we do something else now?’ Grace asked, lifeless. The school assembly memory was all the more bitter for being one of the few times her mother had been in attendance. Grace had been so excited, so nervous.
Miguel blew her a kiss and she read in his expression This will be over soon, which made her feel a smidge better. Maybe this was good, give Miguel a hearty dose of Brassy Mommy – which was a better match to Grace’s descriptions than the Jolly Chef or Carefree Hostess he’d witnessed for most of the evening. Maybe Jackie hadn’t really changed as much as it sometimes seemed. Her stresses were different now and her culinary skills improved, but perhaps underneath she was still the poisonous viper from Grace’s youth, waiting to lash out.

ABOUT ‘MOTHERED’: Grace isn’t exactly thrilled when her newly widowed mother, Jackie, asks to move in with her. They’ve never had a great relationship, and Grace likes her space—especially now that she’s stuck at home during a pandemic. Then again, she needs help with the mortgage after losing her job. And maybe it’ll be a chance for them to bond—or at least give each other a hand.

But living with Mother isn’t for everyone. Good intentions turn bad soon after Jackie moves in. Old wounds fester; new ones open. Grace starts having nightmares about her disabled twin sister, who died when they were kids. And Jackie discovers that Grace secretly catfishes people online—a hobby Jackie thinks is unforgivable.

When Jackie makes an earth-shattering accusation against her, Grace sees it as an act of revenge, and it sends her spiraling into a sleep-deprived madness. As the walls close in, the ghosts of Grace’s past collide with a new but familiar threat: Mom.

MY THOUGHTS: Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today ; When I came home last night at three. The man was waiting there for me.
– William Hughes Mearns

Reading Mothered by Zoje Stage is a similar experience.

The author herself described Mothered as ‘batshit crazy’. I have to agree. I have no idea how to describe what I have just read.

I loved parts of it. I hated parts of it. Overall I fall somewhere in the middle.


#Mothered #NetGalley

I: @zoje.stage_author @amazonpublishing

T: @zooshka @AmazonPub

#contemporaryfiction #familydrama #friendship #mentalhealth #mystery

THE AUTHOR: Zoje Stage lives in Pittsburgh with her cats.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Thomas & Mercer via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Mothered by Zoje Stage for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and


Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

5 thoughts on “Mothered by Zoje Stage”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: