What makes a mother? And how do families work through challenges that have the power to rip them apart forever? In Judith Michael's new novel, motherhood comes by proxy for Sara Elliott when she takes over raising her three younger siblings after their father disappears and their mother has a stroke. Then Mack, their ne'er-do-well brother, returns to challenge her authority. Sara is forced to juggle her own priorities between the life she strives to attain for herself and the responsibilities for her young family that weigh on her every choice. Meanwhile, another man, Reuben, beckons with promises for a future of their own. Suspenseful and heartfelt, The Real Mother is the assured return of husband and wife Michael Fain and Judith Barnard, one of the most beloved writing teams in women's fiction.

Sandy Huseby writes from Fargo, North Dakota.

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