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Little Darlings Hardcover – 30 April 2019
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Lyrical and atmospheric. --Bustle
A satiating psychological horror tale. --Cultured Vultures SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE An April 2019 Library Reads Pick! "Mother knows best" takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms' Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy's The Perfect Mother. 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 of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking--and rechecking--your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.
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Refinery29's Best Summer Thrillers 2019
Bustle's 10 Horror Retellings Of Your Favorite Classic Stories
The Nerd Daily's 14 Debut Authors to Discover This April
Goodreads' Spring's Most Anticipated mysteries & Thrillers
The Guardian's The Best Recent Crime and Thrillers Unforgettable . . . One suspects that the real sorceress here is Golding, whose writing has given a voice to every wronged mother.
--The New York Times Book Review A lyrical and atmospheric folktale for the modern age, Little Darlings is a gorgeously crafted story that makes even the grimmest of subjects shine.
--Bustle "Atmospheric and very creepy indeed."
--The Guardian Golding's novel will strike true fear into the heart of any parent. At the same time, the novel explores the fierce and desperate love we have for our children, written with beautiful intensity . . . A gorgeous, creepy, modern fairy tale reminiscent of Angela Carter.
--Kirkus starred review A modern story of ghosts and fairy tales . . . Golding beautifully blends the supernatural with the everyday, keeping readers riveted to the page as they question what is true.
--Booklist starred review Sinister and sickeningly real, Little Darlings is fairy tale-inflected horror . . . that touch[es] on our deepest, most instinctive fears and fairy tales.
--Foreword Reviews starred review Haunting . . . Fans of psychological thrillers will look forward to Golding's next novel.
--Publishers Weekly It'll make you question whether mother really does know best or if motherhood is truly the dream it's made out to be.
--Fangoria Magazine "Chilling story, beautiful prose. Little Darlings is stunning."
--Clare Mackintosh, New York Times bestselling author of I Let You Go Ingenious, chilling, and completely absorbing, Little Darlings is destined to be the hit of 2019. The scariest book I have read in many years.
--A. J. Banner, bestselling author of The Good Neighbor "Deep. Dark. Utterly addictive. I read this extraordinary book in one breathless gulp...Be warned--you can't unread this story. It will haunt you."
--Teresa Driscoll, author of I Am Watching You "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 "Dark, compelling and terrifyingly relatable, Little Darlings takes every parent's worst fear and deftly twists it into something even more horrific. It will have you checking every shadow for what you hope isn't really there."
--Megan Hart, New York Times bestselling author Little Darlings is the perfect marriage of taut psychological thriller and nail-biting horror. A changeling-inspired page-turner of note with a highly satisfying ending, it'll stay with you long after you've read it. I loved it and can't wait to see what Melanie Golding does next."
--Sarah Lotz, author of The White Road A twisty, chilling exploration of the dark side of motherhood, brilliantly told by a debut author whose skill is evident from the first page. Any parent--any human, for that matter--will have a hard time putting this book down once they start.
--Brad Parks, international bestselling author of The Last Act "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 "Rich and satisfying, this is part who-done-it, part fairy tale, part psychological thriller...Will continue to rattle you, long after you have put it down."
--Felicity Everett, author of The People at Number 9 "Riveting, terrifying and at times heartbreaking...Melanie Golding's disturbing portrait of a new mother's paranoia is superbly written, cleverly plotted and gruesomely beautiful in an unforgettable way. A stunning debut."
--Annie Ward, author of Beautiful Bad "Little Darlings is brilliant--beautifully written, disturbing and deliciously creepy."
--Roz Watkins, author of The Devil's Dice Dark, richly evocative, tense, and thought-provoking. Taps into every woman's fear that she will not be believed.
--Mel McGrath, author of Give Me the Child Viscerally creepy and compelling--a contemporary dark fairy tale that reeled me in like tales of old.
--Angela Clarke, author of Follow Me Little Darlings gives a thrill so deep it dips at times into pleasure, at Golding's sheer creativity, at her ability to take our most natural and primal life experience and weave into it our most ancient myths, transforming it into high horror. She keeps the reader spellbound until the very end . . . The psychological intensity of this novel is on par with the best.
--Katherine Forbes Riley, author of The Bobcat A psychological thriller with a suggestion of the supernatural . . . Golding provides enough reasonable doubt about Lauren's view of events to keep readers guessing.
About the Author
- Publisher : Crooked Lane Books (30 April 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1683319974
- ISBN-13 : 978-1683319979
- Dimensions : 16.21 x 2.69 x 24.28 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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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 reviews from other countries
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.
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.
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.
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.