It has been years since I have read ‘women’s fiction’. If Katie McMahon’s novel, The Mistake, is typical of this genre, I will be reading more.
It’s unlikely I would have read The Mistake had McMahon not been the daughter of a good friend.
That I enjoyed the book so much was initially a surprise, but that’s probably because it’s more than a story about complicated female relationships.
There’s a strong suspense component and a number of unexpected twists and turns. Indeed it’s not easy to classify The Mistake for, together with plenty of family drama, the story also features a crime component and plenty of romance.
The basis of The Mistake is the relationship between sisters, Bec and Kate, who live in Australia. Aged in their late 30’s, both are financially secure and seem very close.
Bec lives in Tasmania with surgeon husband, Stuart, and their three children. Kate is a former successful model who has never married and lives in Melbourne.
While at first glance both seem settled, we gradually discover they have separate challenges. This is especially so for Kate, who has experienced a major traumatic event.
Both end up in relationships with men who have major impacts on their lives.
While the title of the book suggests there is only one mistake, it could be argued the sisters make several.
Having lived in Melbourne and now in Hobart, McMahon authentically paints a picture of both cities. Adding to the story’s credibility is McMahon’s position as a doctor in Hobart.
The Mistake is McMahon’s first book, written while attending a writing masterclass run by international best-selling Australian author Fiona McIntosh. The book is published by Echo Publishing, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK.
Given the reaction by a number of friends who have also read The Mistake – a ‘page turner’ being the most common description – more of her books are certain to be published.
*Katie McMahon is discussing The Mistake at Mary Martin’s Bookshop in Port Melbourne on Thursday June 10 from 6.30pm. The event is free but bookings are required via the Mary Martin website.
- book, review
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