Published by HQ Digital on April 30, 2019
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: Net Galley, Library
Hannah Kent meets Leila Slimani's Lullaby meets Rosemary's Baby in the most unsettling book of the year.
THE TWINS ARE CRYING.THE TWINS ARE HUNGRY.
LAUREN IS CRYING.LAUREN IS EXHAUSTED.
Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting ...
After a traumatic birth, Lauren is alone on the maternity ward with her newborn twins. Her husband has gone home. The nurses are doing their rounds. She can't stop thinking about every danger her babies now face. But all new mothers think like that. Don't they?
A terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves Lauren convinced someone or something is trying to steal her children. But with every step she takes to keep her babies safe, Lauren sinks deeper and deeper into paranoia and fear. From the stark loneliness of returning home after birth, to the confines of a psychiatric unit, Lauren's desperation increases as no one will listen to her. But here's the question: is she mad, or does she know something we don't?
Loosely inspired by the ghostly folktale The Brewery of Eggshells, where a mother becomes convinced her twins are in danger, Little Darlings offers a fresh perspective on modern motherhood, postnatal psychosis and the roles women play. It has always been thus: folk tales do not spring from whimsy; they warn us and teach us, and speak to the fear in us all.
Now the only way to read this book, in my opinion, is to listen to it. Melanie Golding narrates some truly terrifying tales and the narrator Stephanie Racine just scared the bejesus out of me. When she is doing the singing for the old woman, the production had it distorting her voice, the chills I had were awful. Those scenes scared me, A LOT!! They were horrible but so good at the same time!!
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this story, I didn’t want to read the blurb too much as I wanted to be surprised and boy was I. I know for a fact, I am so glad that I wasn’t pregnant when I read this, nor when mini-me was born and thank god I didn’t have twins. If I did I do not think I would leave the house, shower, eat, sleep you know all those things to function. Because there is no way you can function which is basically what started to happen to Lauren.
I am still not clear on a few things, but the ending was quite chilling. I can’t say too much as I don’t want to ruin it but I have my theories which I need to discuss with someone!! But it is definitely a book that plays on your mind and question what is real.
This book is just so unsettling, just as you think there may be a calm, the interludes in the book will raise the hair on the back of your neck. It will chill you to the core. This book will have you questioning if we are in the midst of Post Natal Depression and on the brink of a breakdown…..or is there something more sinister at work? What do you believe? I found the way that Golding tackled PND spot on, I struggled terribly when I had mini-me, not that I went too near the darkness of Lauren but I didn’t cope, if I had twins as I wanted, then who knows this could have been my future. That’s a terrifying thought!
I know for one thing if I heard the voice that Lauren does on the maternity ward, I would have reacted the same way. I would have creeped out and I would be holding on tighter to my mini-me. I still do now after some of the folklore stories Melanie told throughout. These stories have to come from somewhere, hadn’t they?
The only note I wrote about this book was, Patrick =douche and highly suspicious. Throughout the book, I still suspected Patrick (Laurens husband) was up to no good and I still feel like he was. Something still doesn’t sit right with me. He provided no support to Lauren, not helping with the feeds or at nighttime. He can see she is clearly struggling and instead of supporting her it was me, me, me and oh get out the house. She obviously needs the support and he is so not the right person. I am still highly suspicious. However, on the other hand, I wonder if the reason I feel like that is that the story is told by Lauren, and therefore things are misconstrued and cast doubts where there is no need. Don’t you just love a book that makes you think!!
I will say it again, it is a dark, chilling, truly terrifying book to read. It is going to stay with me for a long time and I will probably question all babies I see now. I mean they freak me out as it is, worse so now!!!!!!!!! (Yes I am aware I had one). I was compiling my book of the year list but I stopped until I had finished this one because I wanted to see if I still loved it at the end. The short answer I did! It played on my fears, add in the folklore tales to further increase the paranoia surrounding the story. The audiobook could unhinge you, the singing alone, still get chills thinking about it.
It is one I will be recommending to all. Not everything is tied up in a bow but I am happy with that because the power of imagination and suggestion is more powerful here. It has made me question what is real and what I believe.
What a book.
Until next time xxx
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