Get 50% off Catholic Books & eBooks

Discover the Next Tolkien & O'Connor

Join Here for FREE to Never Miss a Deal

Find new favorites & Support Catholic Authors

The City Mother By Maya Sinha


General Fiction, Contemporary Fiction


Ages 16 and Up

Author’s Worldview


Year Published



Motherhood, Anxiety, Depression, Friendship, Marriage


Reviewed by

M.S. Ocampo

Cara Nielsen is a mother taking on the big city alongside her husband. This contemporary novel follows Cara as she struggles to raise two toddlers while balancing her anxiety and depression.

This novel reminds me of Everything, Everywhere, All at Once without the multiverse factor. Cara is juggling depression, discontent, anxiety, and paranoia over worst-case scenarios regarding her children. Cara struggles to connect with her own children without anyone else helping her out. Cara is isolated from any sort of extended family, and her husband works as the sole breadwinner. As much as she loves her kids, being a mother isn’t something she instantly learns how to cope with. At the same time, she has friends, goes to therapy, and has a life outside of being a housewife and a mother. She loves going to the movies, for example. Movies are a sort of escapism for her, but they sell her a lie, glamorizing life in the big city.

Cara is trying to figure out what being a mother and what being herself mean. She used to be a working woman, a journalist and a movie reviewer. With two kids, however, she has to balance her new life while trying to keep elements of the life she used to have. Cara says that motherhood adds a whole new dimension to her understanding of life.

The contemplative nature of the book makes the events seem very slice-of-life at first–until Cara gets caught up in a whirlwind of crisis after crisis involving her circle of friends. Cara stands in the eye of a metaphorical hurricane, while her friends deal with their marriages falling apart and other personal issues, all while Cara is trying to keep her own life together.

The Catholic themes in this novel are quite prominent. Cara goes to church along with her family, and there are scenes where a priest gives a sermon that ties into the overall themes of the novel. Cara also develops a devotion to Saint Augustine and turns to his wisdom quite often. Cara’s faith gives her some sense of stability and helps her when she gets caught in the hurricane.

I recommend this novel for readers who like a slow-burn drama and enjoy character studies. Catholic mothers who are raising young children will particularly enjoy this read, even if they don’t live in a big city, because the setting is quite immersive.

Get Catholic Books & eBooks for as little as $1 to FREE

Bullet Proof Vestments by Jane Lebak

Fr. Jay left his criminal past behind him, but it’s coming back for vengeance and it might take his parish down with him.

The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt

A deep, honest story of emotional struggle, temptation, and sacrifice.

My Son, The Father by Jim Moore

The story of a young priest through the eyes of his father and friends.

Relic of His Heart by Jane Lebak

An atheist midwife has no idea what she’s in for when she makes a deal with an angel.

Lying Awake by Mark Salzman

A cloistered nun confronts her faith when she realizes that the private revelations she has been given might be the product of epilepsy.

Ghosts of the Faithful by Kaye Park Hinckley

The O’Murphy family gets help from beyond the grave as they deal with long held secrets.

The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch by T.M. Gaouette

A foster kid learns that sometimes the scariest part of life is accepting love.

A Good Girl by Johnnie Bernhard

When an old man dies his daughter must trace her family tree to find the ability to forgive him.

Sydney and Calvin Have a Baby by Adrienne Thorn

Sydney writes romances but living her own romance will require more courage than anything yet required of her.

The Book of Jotham by Arthur Powers

Experience Christ through the eyes of Jotham, his disabled disciple.

Absence by Kaye Park Hinckley

Absence will chill you with the stark reminder that human beings are not just bodies, but souls whose spiritual influence cannot be suppressed, even when the bodies have gone missing.

The Table by Dennis Lambert

A table built by the grandfather of Jesus Christ survives the darkest moment in history to bring peace to a widowed musician

Most Highly Favored Daughter by Janice Palko

Her perfect life hides her city’s darkest secrets. Can Cara face the light of truth and come to understand real love?

Finding Grace by Laura Pearl

Amidst the Free-love Women’s-lib culture of the 70’s how can one young girl find her path to sainthood?

The Grace Crasher by Mara Faro

The Grace Crasher is the ecumenical romantic dramedy that everyone who has ever had family members in split churches needs to read.

Revelation by Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor takes us into the mental experience of one of those people Jesus condemned.

Best of 2020

Yes some good things DID happen this year- Catholic creators have not let turmoil stop their mission.

Freeing Tanner Rose by T.M. Gaouette

Hollywood Starlet meets Kung Fu Country boy with a God obsession.

Feel-Good Books For Pandemic Summer

Book Therapy to chase the blues away