I love reading thriller / mystery books, so when I saw that Little Darlings was highly rated on NetGalley I had to request it, especially after reading the synopsis.
Taken from NetGalley:
“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.”
This review will have spoilers so please only read on if you don’t mind them. Please click read more for my review 🙂
The book opens with a pretty graphic birthing scene, which in all honesty almost made me stop reading the book completely. Now I read a lot of gory horror books, but there is something about the graphic detail of childbirth which really scares me. Maybe it is because I don’t have children and I’ve never been through it I just assume it will be the worst moment of my life.
However I continued to read and I’m so glad I did as I really enjoyed this little book. I loved the tone it sets from the moment she has had the children and meets the strange woman trying to steal her babies. I felt on edge during my entire read through and even though I knew there must be a logical explanation as to what is going on, I couldn’t help but wonder if her babies were the creatures after all…
You find yourself sympathising and believing everything Lauren had said, you resented her husband on her behalf for not being proactive and helping her with the two newborn babies. You found her friends annoying on her behalf because they were thriving and she wasn’t, and you felt her exhaustion and hallucinating state through each turn of the page. It made me want to swoop in and look after the babies for a few hours whilst she had a nap, there is something about her character where you just feel so sad and sorry for her.
Now I believe this book was a look into post natal depression despite them never actually saying that is what she was suffering from, it simply states that she has mental health issues. For someone who doesn’t have children yet this terrifies me and now knowing that you could believe the things that haven’t happened and then going on to potentially harm your children, wow. It deals with this subject very well, although not throwing the subject in your face it very much brings the seriousness of post natal depression to the surface. It really made me feel sad for her and it moved me deeply that she felt so alone and that she didn’t recognise her own babies because of the dark thoughts she was having.
However the one thing which set the book back slightly were the chats with another mother who went through a similar situation, thinking her babies had been snatched and replaced too. Their situations were identical, so was it post natal depression after all or real? You don’t get the closure you expect, but I do not necessarily dislike that. I quite like that the ending it left to keep you thinking about it, and it did keep me pondering about the story for a few days.
Regardless of whatever was going on you know that Lauren just loved her babies and wanted what she thought was best and safe for them. You do not end the book disliking her at all, you feel so much for her and her babies.
I highly recommend picking this up if you want a short read that tackles this highly upsetting subject in such a thrilling way and eerie way.
It launches on May 2nd but you can pre-order on Amazon now!
*This review copy was provided by Netgalley.
*I use amazon affiliate links on my website, so if you purchase through them I gain a little bit of income to improve my site 🙂