The Making of Her

Thank you, Dutton Books, for the gifted copy of The Making of Her. {partner}

Genre: Fiction
Format: 📖
Pub Date: 8.9.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆.5


“Dublin 1996. Joan Egan lives an enviable life. She and her husband, Martin, and daughter, Carmel, are thriving in Dublin at the dawn of an economic boom. But everything changes when Joan receives a letter from Emma, the daughter who she and Martin gave up for adoption thirty years before, asking for a life-or-death favor.

While Joan grapples with the guilt over giving up her baby long ago, she must confront her present as the cracks in her marriage become impossible to ignore and simmering tension with Carmel boils over. Meanwhile, Carmel and Emma must come to terms with the perceived sins of their mother, to imagine a future for their family before it is too late.”


“Words alone change nothing. Promises were broken as easily as they were made.”

This debut novel from Bernadette Jiwa focuses primarily on Joan Egan as she comes to terms with the decisions that she’s made and the path that her life has taken.

I fell right into step with the Jiwa’s effortless writing style, and before I knew it, I’d read 120 pages of The Making of Her. I was taken aback by the story and the authentic history that came from 1960s Ireland.

I carried right along with the book until the last 40% of the book, when the storyline began to slow. It might have been that I felt it was a bit too predictable – I had a feeling as to the direction the book would go, and I think I just needed a little more.

While I was happy to see that some amends could be made, I struggled with the wishy-washy feelings of one of the characters (not giving anything away). I understand that there had been past hurt and resentment, but it seemed cruel to continue to blame someone for a mistake that wasn’t entirely their fault. This lack of reconciliation left me wanting as I closed the book’s last page.

💪🏼 Strength of mother/daughter relationships
🇮🇪 Set in Ireland
✨ Debut Novel
🗣 Character-driven
✌🏼 Dual Narrative & Dual Timeline

Overall, I would say that The Making of Her is the perfect book for those of you who love historical fiction who aren’t necessarily looking for a historical fiction story to read but rather a book that focuses heavily on relationships. I’m looking forward to reading the next book that Bernadette Jiwa writes!


Format: 352 pages, hardback
Published: August 2022
ISBN 0593186133 (ISBN13: 9780593186138)

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