Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 11 hours and 15 minutes
First Published: 2022
I received a complimentary copy of this book from MIRA Books. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Three years ago, Stefan was sentenced for the drug-fueled murder of his girlfriend Belinda. When Stefan is released from prison, his mother Thea struggles to support him as he tries to make amends to a community that wants nothing to do with him. As threats escalate, Thea wonders how well she truly knows her son and questions what actually happened the night Belinda died.
Mitchard’s January release starts as a strong character study of a mother trying to process her son’s release from prison. Thea loves her son, yet questions her parenting, his temper, and state of mind. At times, The Good Son is thought-provoking and at other times utterly dull.
Sadly, the story completely misses the mark when it adds a thriller subplot. Suddenly the story isn’t about facing the consequence of a crime, but a “thriller” that’s not very thrilling. In all, The Good Son is a novel that has so much potential but ends up being rather mediocre.
What do you do when the person you love best becomes unrecognizable to you? For Thea Demetriou, the answer is both simple and agonizing: you keep loving him somehow.
Stefan was just seventeen when he went to prison for the drug-fueled murder of his girlfriend, Belinda. Three years later, he’s released to a world that refuses to let him move on. Belinda’s mother, once Thea’s good friend, galvanizes the community to rally against him to protest in her daughter’s memory. The media paints Stefan as a symbol of white privilege and indifferent justice. Neighbors, employers, even some members of Thea’s own family turn away.
Meanwhile Thea struggles to understand her son. At times, he is still the sweet boy he has always been; at others, he is a young man tormented by guilt and almost broken by his time in prison. But as his efforts to make amends meet escalating resistance and threats, Thea suspects more forces are at play than just community outrage. And if there is so much she never knew about her own son, what other secrets has she yet to uncover—especially about the night Belinda died?