Review: Little Darlings
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.
A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.
Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.
Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.
4.5 stars for the amount of goosebumps and chills this gave me as I was reading it. An unsettling tale about the realness of postpartum depression paired with paranoia and being dismissed as crazy, Little Darlings was the creepiest thing I’ve read in recent memory.
No one really tells you how it is when you have a baby - this was so detailed with the labor, the pains, the tearing and blood, that it gave me a mental panic attack just thinking about having to go through that process someday (probably very soon). And the aftermath of not wanting to leave home and being afraid that someone will harm you and your newborn babies, I know it’s a very real fear some women have to endure so to have it paired with the darkness of the prospect of having changelings in place of your babies is so disturbing.
In regards to the main characters, I really only liked one of them. Lauren was filled with paranoia and a real sense of urgency from the moment she encountered the river lady and she just felt like a broken damsel in distress the entire way through. Jo/Harper was the fearless woman I needed and was searching for to balance out the unsteadiness of character from Lauren. Patrick, the mansplaining husband who I disliked more and more with every chapter, was utterly useless. The entire book was so creepy and eerie - a perfect literary example of a nightmare. I’m no stranger to fairy tales or Brothers Grimm stories, but when it’s retold in a contemporary setting with a realness that makes you think “what if….” - it’s haunting.
I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.