A Perfect Mother

A bracing, hypnotic story of mid-life crisis about the complexities of love, relationship and legacy.


During a visit to Trieste in Northern Italy to research his long lost great-grandfather, Jacob meets Charlotte and Jane, and the three are forced to confront their individual and shared histories. Their sense of themselves is challenged and they must piece together a future none of them saw coming.

A Perfect Mother asks big questions: What do we inherit from the broken histories of our parents and our grandparents and how does this shape our own sense of identity? Can we ever escape the past? Are stories, the ones we are told and the ones we tell, integral to how we know each other and how we love? What does it mean to be a good parent, let alone the perfect mother?


A Perfect Mother is a highly ambitious novel of ideas
and a powerfully involving drama.’

Derek Johns, author of Ariel: a literary life of Jan Morris 


Available 1 September 2018


ISBN: 9780995647848
Format: Hardback
Dimensions: 216 x 138mm
Length: 224 pages
Publication Date: 01/09/2018
Genre: Literary Fiction


‘A wonderfully accomplished novel…It manages to be complex and compulsively readable at the same time… It tells a story of attraction, parenthood and madness with great psychological subtlety, while also creating an unforgettable sense of place, equally at home in England and in Italy. I haven’t encountered as beautiful a portrait of Trieste and its culture in many years.’

Vesna Goldsworthy, author of Gorsky and Monsieur Ka 


A Perfect Mother is a gripping read – subtle and intense, with real dramatic tension as Jacob tries to decipher the truth about Charlotte…Trieste is delectably done, and a great locus for a book that hangs on the opposition of what’s settled, familial, bourgeois, accrues wealth; and what’s displaced and fugitive in economic, psychic, historical and racial terms.

Alison Fell, author of The Pillow Boy of the Lady Onogoro and Tricks of the Light 



About the Author

Born in France of an American mother and a Viennese father, Katri Skala has lived in the United States and across Europe. She has worked as a senior arts administrator, script editor, and literary editor in the field of new writing in Britain and the US for a range of organisations that include Channel Four, BBC, the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Arvon Foundation, the University of East Anglia, and the Writers Centre Norwich. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in literature and journalism from Vassar (in the US), Cardiff and the University of East Anglia. She has had published short stories and magazine features. A Perfect Mother is her first novel. An extract was recently published in INK Anthology, a showcase of new writing produced for agents and publishers. She works as a mentor to writers in all genres and at all stages of their writing life.