Review: The Godmothers by Monica McInerney

Title: The Godmothers

Author: Monica McInerney

Published: 29th September 2020, Michael Joseph

Status: Read October 2020 courtesy PenguinRandomHouse Australia


My Thoughts:

With its mix of drama, humour, and a touch of romance, The Godmothers by Australian-born, Dublin-based, internationally best selling author Monica McInerney, is a story of family, friendships and relationships.

Though her childhood was far from conventional, Eliza Miller never doubted she was loved by her devoted but mercurial single mother, Jeannie. When Jeannie died unexpectedly just before Eliza’s 18th birthday, it was her adoring godmothers, Olivia and Maxie, who ensured she had everything she needed, and now that her life has been upended again, and she is ready for answers to some long held questions about her father, it is her godmothers that Eliza turns to.

A character-driven novel, It’s the emotional journey of Eliza that is the focus of The Godmothers. I have to admit I struggled some with her character, I kept thinking she was in dire need of some counselling. Though she’s likeable, and I thought her sympathetic, I found Eliza’s idolisation of her mother naive and somewhat uncomfortable. I was pleased with how things worked out for Eliza, but in hindsight I recognise I was never particularly invested in the character.

The godmothers are lovely, they clearly cherish Eliza and want the best for her. Olivia plays a slightly larger role in the story than Maxie, as it’s at the hotel in Edinburgh owned by Olivia’s ill husband that Eliza is staying, though its Maxie’s wedding that gets her there. When Eliza starts asking questions, I can understand the women’s reluctance to ‘tarnish’ Jeannie’s memory in her daughter’s eyes, and the reasons for the secrets they have kept, and continue to keep, from her, but I don’t necessarily agree they made the right decisions.

Sullivan, a precocious twelve year old Eliza meets on the plane on her way to Edinburgh, was a surprise character, the complete opposite in personality to Olivia’s badly behaved elderly mother-in-law, Celine. Both characters mainly serve as light relief, but I thought they came close to ‘stealing the show’, so to speak.

I have to admit I’ve had a tough time articulating my thoughts about this novel. I did find the experience of reading The Godmothers to be engaging, and I still consider myself a fan of McInerney, but if I’m honest this is not a favourite.


Available from PenguinRandomHouse Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

Also by Monica McInerney reviewed at Book’d Out 

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Claire Louisa
    Oct 11, 2020 @ 23:21:43

    Great review

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Tammy
    Oct 12, 2020 @ 01:28:29

    This definitely sounds like it had potential. Too bad it didn’t quite deliver.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  4. Laurel-Rain Snow
    Oct 13, 2020 @ 00:11:34

    I have enjoyed other books by this author. I am curious about this one…but couldn’t find it on Amazon. Another title, perhaps?

    Thanks for the great review.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Mystica
    Oct 14, 2020 @ 15:57:34

    Sorry it did not quite work out for you. I hate when that happens as I am always on such a difficult time schedule.

    Liked by 1 person


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