Fiction

Little Darlings

littledarlings2

About the Book

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.

What I thought

Wow. This book was so good. I can understand the suggestion this could become one of the most talked about books of 2019. It’s certainly up there in my best books read list.

Apparently screen rights have been acquired for the story too. It would make a brilliant TV drama or film, which ever it’s to become. I could possibly be tempted to watch, but for me nothing ever quite matches up to reading the book.

There is an excellent preface from the author Melanie Golding to introduce the reader to some of the folklore behind her idea for the book and as you come to the beginning of each chapter there is a poem or small piece taken from related old fairy stories and folklore relating to Changelings.

I read the book description and anticipated a good psychological thriller. What I didn’t expect was for it to also be a police detective story. I’m not keen on them and never read them so at first I was a bit disappointed. However the female police detective Harper, who was central throughout the book was acting mostly in an unofficial capacity and was more emotionally involved. I grew to quite like her and a further book perhaps covering her back story would be really good.

I don’t want to say much more about the story as the book description says all a potential reader needs to know. The premise is that Lauren suffered a psychotic form of post natal distress and that would be the rational explanation. However I loved the ambiguity, there was always that doubt even at the end, was there something supernatural at play? It makes you wonder? I’d describe it in part as a psychological thriller as it really does play with your mind.

On the other hand looking at it as a story of a new mother of twins suffering what must be a frightening condition – Puerperal Psychosis, then my heart goes out to mothers who suffer this form of post natal illness and their families too, it must be incredibly distressing for all concerned.

All in all a tense, emotional read that kept me interested right from the first page to the last, with a set of really interesting characters and a fascinating subject.

♥ Happy Reading ♥


The Kindle and hardback edition of this book are due out on 2 May 2019. 

Thank you to publishers HQ via Netgalley for this ARC.

About the author

Melanie Golding – Her short stories have been chosen to be recorded as podcasts by the Leicester based festival Story City in 2015 and 2016, and to be performed at both the regular Stroud Short Stories event and their special ‘best of’ event at Cheltenham Literature Festival.  In 2017 she won the short story prize at the Mid Somerset Festival, as well as the Evelyn Sanford trophy for highest mark in the prose class.  Little Darlings is her debut novel.

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