The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall

‘He is missing.  Your husband is missing.’

Ben Elliott is missing.  He has disappeared from the mine site at Golden Arc (a foreign investment site in Indonesia) where he works.  The Department has contacted his wife, Mim, to let her know.  Mim cannot believe it: after all Ben, like her and their children Essie and Sam, is microchipped.

‘You want to know where your people are when the world becomes a shifting, wild, hungry thing.’

In this near future apocalyptic world, everyone in Australia is monitored.  People can be detained without charge for six months, citizenship can be lost, as can assets. Mim is told to contact The Department if she hears from Ben and is assured that The Department will look after her.

But something is not right.  Mim is questioned, her passport is confiscated, and she is told not to leave home.  Mim’s instincts tell her otherwise.

Mim and the children set off on what will be an arduous journey, undertaken at great risk to themselves and to others. Imagine: a world where the effects of climate change and of the threat of biological warfare are apparent; a world in which people are microchipped and their movements controlled.  Imagine.  Can Mim protect her children?  Will she find Ben?

This is an unsettling and uncomfortable read. Recommended.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. 

Jennifer Cameron-Smith