...And the winner is, "We need to talk about Kevin" by American writer, Lionel Shriver.
Broadcaster Jenni Murray, who chaired the judging panel, said: "We Need To Talk About Kevin is a book that acknowledges what many women worry about but never express - the fear of becoming a mother and the terror of what kind of child one might bring into the world.
The most controversial book on the shortlist for the coveted Orange prize, open only to female authors, Shriver's novel has opened up a debate about women who resent the way in which motherhood restricts their lives.
The author told the BBC that the brutal candour in her story of a mother who feels despair and a lack of interest in a difficult child touched a nerve with mothers who had, at some point, felt a similar way.
An excerpt from the Daily Mail review:
A career woman who loathes motherhood ("a son was born, and I felt nothing") and a wilful child full of disdain for his parents. These are the forces that collide at the heart of this controversial novel, which has created a storm of debate in America.
Can a mother really despise her offspring - and what effect does that have on the child?
Harrowing, tense and thought provoking, this is a challenge to every accepted parenting manual you've ever read.