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The Good Son

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The Good Son is an unforgettable novel that awakens every nerve in your body. Even though it is fiction Jacquelyn Mitchard is such an exceptional storyteller that the plot seems so realistic that you want to just help the down-trodden along. As the "good son" and his parents try to survive in an unforgiving worlds while trying to find answers of what really happened, the twists and turns just keep you in suspense. You need to read this one.
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This is one of the best books I've read so far this year, I've always been a fan of the author, but this one just knocks it out of the park. It's a family drama, yet also a mystery/suspense story & the combination makes it so compelling.
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This was a provocative title in that the protagonist, Thea, is the parent of a son who was convicted of brutally murdering his girlfriend.  Stefan killed his girlfriend, Belinda, while under the influence of drugs, and while he has no memory of the crime,  admits his guilt.  Thea remembers Belinda and Stefan's relationship as childhood best friends becoming lovers, and struggles to reconcile that image with the horrifying ending.  Belinda's mother has galvanized the community portraying the relationship as abusive all along, painting Stefan as a controlling abuser who  killed her daughter as she was struggling to break free from the relationship. Because Stefan was a minor, 17, under the influence of narcotics, he was sentenced to only three years, which further outraged the community.  From the time of the murder, Thea's home has been regularly picketed and vandalized by protestor's demanding harsher punishments for Stefan, and her job as a college professor has been derailed by the publicity. The book opens with Stefan's release from prison and his desire to atone and rebuild his life. But from the beginning, there are two mysteries - who is the woman texting Thea that she doesn't know the entire story, and who is the shadowing figure who clearly means Stefan harm? 
While I found the end of the book disappointing, I think this would be a good book club selection, as there are multiple discussion points. The concept of vigilante justice - is Belinda's (the victim) mother justified in rallying the public to protest Stefan's release? Do the parents of a murderer deserve to have their lives judged as well? Stefan attempts to rebuild his life after his  release, but even family members are loath to have him around. He's 20 years old- does he have the right to continue, to rebuild, even in repentance? At what point is justice served? While I have read better novels, there is a lot to ponder in this one. The plot has some weaknesses, but the mother's emotions are real and keep the reader interested.
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I thought I had read all Jacqueline Mitchard's books, realized I have missed some, so going back to catch up and read those, I enjoy her books!   I was excited to see new book was coming 
thrilled to receive the ARC!

only seconds,   life in reverse

Book shows and proves the strength and fury of a mother's love!!
A second chance, a new direction, 
after repentance, can you accept the forgiveness, the new life?

As a mother of a son, I really enjoyed this book!
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The Good Son by Jacqueline Mitchard is a thought-provoking story! How would you live and function if your only child went to prison for killing his girlfriend? Stefan loved Bindy, and can’t imagine how it happened, but he takes responsibility. After all, all the evidence points to Stefan. Unfortunately, he experimented with some nasty drugs and can’t remember a thing. But in a drug-induced psychosis, many lives are forever changed.
When Stefan is released, life for his family is very difficult. He needs to find a way to show his remorse and find a purpose for living again. Jep and Thea, his parents, must also figure out how to deal with their shame, love, and sorrow. But someone is stalking them, and isn’t ready to forgive Stefan quite yet. 
This book really made me think. Drugs are such a dark part of many lives, and often cause people to do things they would never imagine doing. Could I let my daughter date a boy released from prison for murdering his girlfriend while he was high? How would I treat his family? I highly recommend The Good Son.
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The description of this book sounded really interesting. A mother whose son returns home after serving a prison sentence for murdering his girlfriend while under the influence of drugs. I managed to read about 35% of the book, but found it way too drawn out. The reader gets the impression that the son may not be guilty and that things occurred during the murder that neither the son or mother are aware of. However, the reader is none the wiser at 35% and the chapters were extremely long and quite tedious at times. Had to abandon.
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The Good Son 
BY Jacquelyn Mitchard 
Publishing Date: January 18th 2022 

I'm not sure what got into me because I usually read and review books by their release date.  But after I read the kind words on the cover by one of my favorite authors, Kristin Hannah, I knew this was going to be on top of my list. 
Great book!  I was drawn into this book from the first chapter!!  Very intriguing book. I have not read this author before but she is on my TBR list now.  I didn't stop reading until I was finished.  Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read the ARC.  

5 star
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While the writing is good, the plot twists are telegraphed. I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone who will read it, so all I will say is that it’s easy to guess what will happen, the plot stalls unnecessarily at times, and I found Thea, the main character, unrelatable. Not the worst book by any stretch, but I can’t recommend it.
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DNF. I feel this book will have an audience but sadly not for me. The story is sad and I just found it difficult to keep reading. I will not post on Goodreads since I did not finish the book.
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I could not put this book down once I had started reading. Jacquelyn Mitchard knows how to spin a complicated plot and develop characters that are multi-faceted, realistic, and sympathetic against all odds.  How does a mother go on when her son has done the unthinkable, and how does that son try to move on after he is released from prison still unable to remember exactly how he killed his beloved girlfriend under the influence of drugs. Their small town Wisconsin community is unable to forget, resulting in continuing threats and keeping the tension high. Is Thea  just grasping at straws trying to uncover new evidence of what perhaps really happened? And does Stefan have the strength to forge a new life for the betterment of both himself and others? Highly recommended.
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This poignant novel  The Good Son by Jacquelyn Mitchard follows Thea’s journey as a mother of a convicted felon who was just released from prison. Her son, Stefan, was jailed for 3 years for the murder of his longtime girlfriend (and childhood friend/neighbor) Belinda during a drug induced haze. Though Stefan remembered nothing of the night, he was found with Belinda’s body and the murder weapon.

The Good Son puts the reader in the shoes of the family of a convict (as well as the convict themselves) and shows them how their reintegration into the world can be extremely difficult; that most convicts end up back in the system because of lack of support.

The novel is a two-fold - it covers the reintegration and how Stefan tries to work his way back Into a normal life. But also still focuses on Thea - who keeps receiving messages from an unknown source, bringing up Belinda’s murder and urging her to keep Stefan quiet. This part of the novel moves a bit more slowly (at times, it seems unimportant and almost at a snails pace) but picks up towards the end.

Overall, The Good Son was an interested look into our prison systems reintegration practices as well as a view into the lives of a family on the other side.  Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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What is the worst thing your child could do? Lie, cheat, drink, drugs? What if your child is responsible for taking someone’s life? Can you stand by them? Still love them? Equally important, how does said child move forward when they can’t even remember exactly what happened? Jacqueline Mitchard tackles these issues and more in The Good Son.  A compelling read, every parent probably wonders how they would react under the circumstances and prayers they never find out.
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I was intrigued by the plot of the book and found it very original. It was an interesting perspective of a mother whose son has been found guilty of killing his girlfriend while under the influence of drugs. 
Overall enjoyable, but I did find the tone of the writing hard for relate to - almost as if I was not the intended audience demographic. 
Thanks to Harper Collins for the advanced reader copy!
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This poignant novel follows Thea’s journey as a mother of a convicted felon who was just released from prison. Her son, Stefan, was jailed for 3 years for the murder of his longtime girlfriend (and childhood friend/neighbor) Belinda during a drug induced haze. Though Stefan remembered nothing of the night, he was found with Belinda’s body and the murder weapon. 

<i>The Good Son</i> puts the reader in the shoes of the family of a convict (as well as the convict themselves) and shows them how their reintegration into the world can be extremely difficult; that most convicts end up back in the system because of lack of support. 

The novel is a two-fold - it covers the reintegration and how Stefan tries to work his way back Into a normal life. But also still focuses on Thea - who keeps receiving messages from an unknown source, bringing up Belinda’s murder and urging her to keep Stefan quiet. This part of the novel moves a bit more slowly (at times, it seems unimportant and almost at a snails pace) but picks up towards the end. 

Overall, <i>The Good Son</i> was a interested look into our prison systems reintegration practices as well as a view into the lives of a family on the other side.
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