Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication date: 30th April 2019
Genre: Horror, mystery and thriller
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning
in this unsettling thriller.
Lauren Tranter has given birth to twins; Morgan and
Riley. She is exhausted and needs to rest. One restless
evening in the hospital, Lauren meets a woman who also has twin boys. The strange woman threatens Lauren, that if she leaves her twins are left alone they will be swapped for her own cursed twins. After seeking helps from the hospital staff, police and her husband, no – one believes that the woman was real and suspects that Lauren is hallucinating due to her lack of sleep. That is until (policewoman’s name) looks at the CCTV footage and is unsettled about what she sees.
During a stroll at the local park weeks after the hospital incident, Morgan and Riley disappear, only to reappear somewhat changed. As everyone celebrates the safe return of the twins, Lauren begins to scream “these are not my babies”. Determined to bring her true infants home where they belong, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she is wrong, she will be making the biggest mistake of her life.
I really enjoyed reading this debut novel. I am so thankful to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for allowing me to read tin exchange for an honest review. Melanie Golding has done a really good job creating this debut novel. It was fantastically written, mainly from Lauren, the mother of the twins, point of view. As a mother myself, I identified with some of the post- pregnancy thoughts and feelings of exhaustion that Lauren experienced. You just can’t help but sympathise for her.
Little Darlings was inspired by dark fairy tales and twin folk tales, frequently referring to tales of changelings; children that have been secretly substituted by fairies and elves during infancy. The storyline made me question whether Lauren was in fact having a psychotic break due to postnatal depression or if there was in fact a figure after her twin boys. I even thought I had guessed it, with Lauren having a split personality! This is a reason why I thoroughly enjoyed the book, that it kept me guessing right until the final chapter and didn’t give away too much too soon. I would have liked a ‘one year later’ type of chapter just to wrap up the novel entirely.
The storyline included Jo Harper as the reliable policewoman; it dipped into her past slightly, as well as looking at a blossoming romance. Although these were nice personal touches I am not completely sure the purpose.
If you’re looking for a twisty, creepy read, this is definitely a book for you. It is not too dark or disturbing but still provides an airy atmosphere. It is an enjoyable read, especially if you enjoy myths and folklore. I’ve included a link to twin folk tales at the end of this post if anyone is interested in further (creepy) reading materials,.
Little Darlings is available for pre-order now on amazon, released 2nd of May 2019.
This is one of my 2019 recommended reads. I have awarded Little Darlings 4 / 5 stars!
The dad, Patrick, seemed very disconnected and lazy on the borderline of feeling edgy. I didn’t like him from the beginning but I think this was the point; he seemed like a one – dimensional character.
I’m not sure why the metal health team in this first chapter didn’t question the possibility of Lauren experiencing postnatal depression, especially after such a traumatic birth.
I wasn’t aware that there were so many twin folklores around the world. I’m not sure I will be able to look at twins again and not feel creeped out!
The description of the twins after disappearing event, major creep fest, the facial expression descriptions did it for me if I am honest.
This is going to be a major picture!
A Brewery of Eggshells:http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cft/cft28.htm