Kate Mildenhall

Books Pippa Masson, Curtis Brown Australia Email Pippa Masson

The Mother Fault

book | Fiction | Sep 2020
ANZ → Simon & Schuster
UK → HarperCollins (Ed. Phoebe Morgan)

The Mother Fault is a beautifully written literary thriller set in the near future – at its core, it’s a novel about motherhood and what it is to be a mother in any time or place: how you’d do anything for your children no matter what.

Mim, a mother of two and a husband who has mysteriously disappeared from an Indonesian mine site, is fleeing Australia with her son and daughter in tow after investigations from The Department about her husband heat up. Faced with an increasingly hostile, implacable bureaucracy bent of tracking them down, she enlists the help of some of her most trusted friends in order to throw them off the scent while trying to get safe passage to Indonesia to find her husband. She will do anything to keep her children safe, even if it means risking all of their lives on a treacherous journey to find out the answers.

Set in an eerily recognisable future world where climate change, surveillance and political control all feature heavily, The Mother Fault is a novel for our times.


Kate Cooper manages the translation rights for The Mother Fault

Film Rights


Contact Pippa Masson for more information


From the first few pages, I knew I was going to be finishing The Mother Fault the same day I had started. Kate Mildenhall has imagined a world as terrifying and visionary as Margaret Atwood's Gilead, with the pace of the best thrillers - and characters I doubt I'll ever forget. This is novel of rare insight from a rising literary star

J.P. Pomare
Author of Call Me Evie and In the Clearing

The Mother Fault looks unflinchingly into a terrifyingly plausible future. I could barely catch my breath while reading … The Australia Mildenhall conjures is at once recognisable and destabilising, beautiful and horrific, taut and emotionally resonant. It shook me to my core. I could not put it down

Alice Robinson
Author of Anchor Point and The Glad Shout

Kate Mildenhall has achieved that rare thing - a book that at once tackles the big issues and is an addictive page-turner. The near-future Mildenhall has created is not only believable but disturbingly familiar. At the heart of this speculative novel, however, is a timeless story of motherhood - an expert and moving portrayal of the lengths a mother will go to in order to save her family. A smart, confronting and compelling read

Melanie Cheng
Author of Australia Day and Room for a Stranger

Kate Mildenhall raises big questions in this riveting thriller about the moral reckoning that will be demanded of us by future generations for our actions and inaction. But at the heart of The Mother Fault is a deeply human tale, one that prevails against and rises above political agendas: the need to protect those we love. This exactly the kind of story we need right now; one that observes with lacerating honesty what we risk becoming

Sally Piper
Author of The Geography of Friendship and Grace’s Table

The Mother Fault is a rare creation. It is a work of powerful urgency, a literary thriller decorated with luminous sentences and meditations on motherhood, totalitarianism, love and independence.

Simon McDonald

This gripping and thoughtful novel offers a spine-tingling vision of a future Australia - eerie in its potential realism - in which citizens' movements are tracked and climate change has decimated the country..... With its superb storytelling and capacity to spark reflection o the way we live, this timely, riveting, warning bell of a book can be confidently recommended to a wide readership.

Books + Publishing
Full Review

'The Mother Fault is a literary thriller that speaks precisely, devastatingly, to its time.'

The Monthly

A triumph of a novel. Five stars, I loved it. Thrilling, confronting, page-turning and heartbreakingly poignant, The Mother Fault is a remarkable story.

Jane Harper, Bestselling author of The Dry

'...powerful and terrifying'

Australian Women's Weekly

Mildenhall’s latest book is deeply introspective, but it is also defiant and hopeful. The Mother Fault is a literary thriller that speaks precisely, devastatingly, to its time.

Bec Kavanagh
The Monthly

In language which is tough and poetic and keenly selected, The Mother Fault is a stunning account of a possible future, and deserves every bit of the hype it has received in the lead up to its release.

Emily Paull
The AU Review

[A] fast-paced, passionately written road (and boat) journey that explores some of the big issues of the day.

The Big Issue

Timely and thoughtful, intelligent and fast paced, this is a propulsive literary thriller that's likely to appeal to fans of Margaret Atwood

The Weekend West

[An] action-packed page-turner

The Saturday Paper

The tension crackles as the novel speeds towards its final pages

The Sydney Morning Herald

Mildenhall has created a near-future Australian dystopia that is frighteningly plausible.

The Sunday Tasmanian

Pippa Masson
Curtis Brown Australia
Email Pippa Masson
Alice Lutyens
+44 (0)20 7393 4400
Email Alice Lutyens
Translation Rights
Kate Cooper
+44 020 7393 4425
Email Kate Cooper