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Reviewed by Maryann Namayi for Readers' Favorite
Diana Kingsley’s Mother in Name Only: A Novel follows the journey of Myrna Kaye, a modern and educated woman who reflects on her life shaped by the societal norms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. As the story opens, Myrna walks barefoot in the warm weather. It is late afternoon, and she wears white to symbolize purity and the cleansing of sins. She gazes at the scenery and contemplates the simplicity and clarity of the joy that love can bring. However, she realizes that it is not easy to love something so purely. After leaving a loveless marriage, Myrna creates a life of autonomy for herself, but her struggles stem from her past and her family’s history. The narrative is a poignant intergenerational drama that focuses on the journey toward spiritual healing.
Diana Kingsley’s writing is exceptional, and her character development is well-crafted. The novel explores the significance of our values and provides insightful commentary on the nature of relationships. A key theme is the importance of honesty as the foundation of any partnership. The novel includes a thought-provoking quote: “To ignore an opportunity to do good is a sin.” Myrna interprets this as validation based on her experiences. The novel encourages readers to strive for self-improvement while acknowledging their imperfections and highlights the importance of courage. It serves as a reminder that upholding the truth is of utmost importance. Mother in Name Only is a thought-provoking and well-written novel that delves into complex themes and offers valuable insights into the human experience.