- Library Binding
- Publisher: Wheeler Publishing Large Print (25 September 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1432869043
- ISBN-13: 978-1432869045
- Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.5 x 21.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 644 g
- Customer Reviews: 116 customer ratings
Little Darlings Library Binding – Large Print, 25 September 2019
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|Library Binding, Large Print, 25 September 2019||
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"I love this book! Compelling from the first page to the very last, Golding took me by the hand and pulled me softly but persistently through mystery and myth . . . A masterfully-told story and a beautiful and nuanced work of art."
--Susan Crawford, author of The Pocket Wife
"Little Darlings is brilliant - beautifully written, disturbing and deliciously creepy."--Roz Watkins, author of The Devil's Dice
"Deep. Dark. Utterly addictive. I read this extraordinary book in one, breathless gulp. It touched me so deeply, it felt almost dangerous. . . . Be warned - you can't unread this story. It will haunt you."--Teresa Driscoll, author of I Am Watching You
"A story that is in turn enthralling, creepy and downright sinister, Melanie Golding turns fairy tales on their heads in Little Darlings, making this one to watch out for in 2019. A brilliant, heart-pounding read."--Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me
"Riveting, terrifying and at times heart-breaking, Little Darlings had me tip-toeing through my dark house at night to check on the children."--Annie Ward, author of Beautiful Bad
About the Author
Melanie Golding is a recent graduate with distinction of the MA in creative writing program at Bath Spa University. Her short stories were 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 the special "best of" celebration at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. In 2017, she won the short story prize at the Mid-Somerset Festival, as well as the Evelyn Sanford trophy for the highest mark in the prose class.
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A young mother calls emergency services from the maternity ward of the local hospital claiming that someone had tried to steal her newborn twins, but noone believes her. A few weeks later, her babies go missing for a short period of time when their sleep deprived mother briefly nods off on a park bench whilst out walking. They are quickly located, but their mother is convinced that these are not her babies. Everyone thinks she is crazy, but is she?
I love mysteries where it is never clear if the MC is in fact a bit crazy, imagining all the creepy things that are going on, or if there is indeed something sinister at play. Little Darlings messed with my mind in the best possible way. Yes, there is a certain supernatural element that may seem far-fetched to some readers, but I found it utterly compelling. Especially the premise that Lauren is convinced her babies are in danger, but everyone thinks she is crazy. Imagine how terrifying and frustrating this must be! I still vividly remember the constant fog of tiredness I operated under after the birth of my first child, and how after weeks of sleep deprivation my mind started playing tricks on me. So is Lauren really just a bit paranoid? Her story does seem a bit far fetched ...
Goldin knows how to plant a seed of doubt in the reader’s mind very early on, which resulted in a constant sense of menace and danger that made me snuggle deep under my covers and jump at every noise in the darkness out there. The chapter introductions, featuring some old legends and urban myths, only served to ratchet up tension as they lent an aura of mysticism to the story. I still remember sitting in my grandma’s kitchen as a child whilst the old women talked about such things. Perhaps this is why this story evoked such primal terror in me. Whatever it was, it really worked, and I am putting Little Darlings on my list of best eerie mysteries! Very highly recommended to anyone who loves a creepy folk tale wrapped into the folds of a compelling contemporary mystery as much as I do.
Lauren has had a difficult birth with twin boys and while in hospital she swears a creepy, smelly lady was trying to abduct them. At home she refuses to leave the house, making various excuses to her (non helping) husband but one day she finally decides to go out and something happens.
I really didn’t know how this would play out...postpartum psychosis or changelings?
You can make up your own mind in this creepy story with supernatural elements. 4 1/2 stars for being something completely different to what I’ve read in a while.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read.
Top international reviews
I’d been patiently (ok, a little impatiently) waiting for this one and it did not disappoint! Something tells me we’ll be seeing a lot more from this talented author - I truly hope so anyway!
This is the first book I have read and wow, I couldn't have picked a better book!
This is fantasticly wrote. If I were to write a book it would be just like this.
I can't stop telling people about it.
I do wish I knew what happened to the characters at the end but I guess that's for me to decide.
I will be watching out for this lady's next novel that's for certain.
There is nothing worse than the feeling of not being believed and thank goodness for Detective Harper! After viewing the incident calls from the night shift she comes across Lauren's call - something inside Harper tells her to follow it up despite it being put down as a false alarm. There is no evidence of what Lauren saw, and no else saw of heard anything other Lauren shouting, something niggles at Harper to stay on this case despite there being not apparent case at all.
Soon Lauren is home and settling into a routine that is mainly one sided. I hated Patrick with a passion in this story he was selfish and self centred - he needs his sleep or he doesn't function and basically gives Lauren no help with twins. I know what it is like to do the night shift every night with one child so my heart went out to Lauren doing it with two! It didn't help that Lauren felt she couldn't sleep for fear of the woman returning to take her twins, when she ventures out one day with the twins shes take a set and closes her eyes for just a moment and later wakes to realises she has fallen asleep and her children are gone! They are found pretty quickly and the so called abductor arrested, but something is wrong, Lauren can see it but no one else can - why don't they believe her when she says they are not her twins? They are not Morgan and Riley?
From that moment I actually thought Lauren had gone mad and snapped, she tried to put them in the river!
Honestly this book will take you to the edge as you question Lauren's sanity, is she really seeing the twins as Changlings like in the fairy-folk tales or is she having a psychitic breakdown. Golding has done a fantastic job of this novel and it was a chilling horror that you never really know what was real and what was just Lauren's imagination.
However, I'm actually not sure about what really happened in the book. Neither during the story nor particularly not in the end. As for being entertaining, the story did at times keep me glued to the pages, but there are also chapters filled with (to me) unnecessary, boring details. Parts of the book left me impatient for something significant to happen but instead of building up expectation, I got bored. Particularly during the last third I skimmed through a lot of text, eager to know what it was all about and get a solution. Which, as already said, I do not feel one actually gets.
The writing? This is a debut novel and of course one is always curious. The author knows how to write. Her vocabulary is impressive and sophisticated. But, does it get too complicated? I had to read quite a bit twice in order to get the clear meaning, which was frustrating.
This is a dark novel. No doubt about that. Not particularly entertaining, but still interesting. For new readers I would recommend to buy the paperback version or borrow from the library.
I am, however, awaiting Golding's next novel with great expectation.
Is Lauren suffering postnatal psychosis, or is she telling the truth? The folk tale embedded in the story’s DNA gives another twist, another dimension.
DS Joanna Harper has to go deeper than she’s ever gone before to investigate the dark heart of the crime she uncovers. But first, she must face up to the truth about herself.
Beautifully written, this chilling story grips the reader and will not let you go. When the book is finished you’re still lingering inside the world where the old stories, the dreams and fables and nightmares, they’re real. They’re here right now.
Wow one of the best books I've read in a long while. I could not put it down, reading into the early hours. The characters were very believable, and the writing was superb. I do hope Melanie writes more books.
I'd recommend this book over and again, and especially to fans of Sarah Perry, Kate Morton and Kate Mosse.
I can't wait for more work from this very talented author.
Now, I need to find something just as good to follow...
I have never read such an accurate account of all the raw moments of new motherhood; pain, exhaustion and absolute bliss. It really took me back to those times in my life when I had a newborn. This honesty helped me develop a sense of really identifying with Lauren, which meant I couldn't stop reading when her world began to fall apart.
Loved it. A real page-turner.