From Matthew Dicks, the beloved author of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, comes The Other Mother, a novel about a teenage boy coping with the rupture of his family by viewing his mother in an unusual light.
The one he loves most, is the one he knows least.
Thirteen-year-old Michael Parsons is dealing with a lot. His father's sudden death; his mother's new husband, Glen, who he loathes; his two younger siblings, who he looks after more and more now that his mother works extra shifts.
And then one day, Michael wakes up and his mother is gone. In her place is an exact, duplicate mother. The 'other mother'. No one else seems to notice the real version is missing. His brother, his sister, and even Glen act as if everything's normal. But Michael knows in his heart that this mother is not his. And he begins to panic.
What follows is a big-hearted coming-of-age story of a boy struggling with an unusual disorder that poses unparalleled challenges—but also, as he discovers, offers him unique opportunities.
Dicks (Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend) offers a wistful and quietly moving portrait of a teenage boy keeping too many secrets. Fourteen-year-old Michael wakes up one morning convinced that his mother has been replaced by an imposter. Neither of his younger siblings notice any difference, nor does Glen, the stepfather Michael disdains. Dicks hints that Michael's perception might stem from the increasing distance he's felt from his mother since his father's death three years earlier and about which both Michael and his mother are keeping secrets. Sarah, Michael's neighbor and new love interest, is convinced Michael is suffering from Capgras syndrome, a psychological disorder that creates beliefs about imposters, while Michael suspects the doppelg nger has hidden his real mother away somewhere. Michael struggles to make sense of his place in his school, his peer group, and his family without support from the mother he once thought he could depend on. Though none of Michael's secrets, or even the central mystery of his mother's identity, hold much suspense, Michael's appealingly vulnerable first-person narration and his painful missteps through the minefield of adolescent social situations will endear him to readers. Dicks's bighearted, generous novel makes a strong case for empathy and for forgiveness both toward others and toward oneself.