Title: Little Darlings
Author: Melanie Golding
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Source: Digital ARC via NetGalley
Little Darlings is a fantastically creepy little book. Being a mother myself, there were parts that definitely had me happy that my boys are 8 & 9 and not babies anymore.
The story is about Lauren Tranter who just gave birth to twin boys. While she is in the hospital, she is visited in the middle of the night by someone, or something that isn’t quite human. Whatever the creature is, she offers to switch Lauren’s babies with her own. Of course her babies aren’t human either and Lauren locks herself in the bathroom with her babies and calls the police. When they arrive, they are unable to find any trace of a visitor. The incident is chalked up to lack of sleep and the stress of being a new mother, but Detective Jo Harper is not convinced and she gives Lauren her card, in case something strange happens again.
Back at home things don’t seem to be getting much better. Lauren’s husband Patrick doesn’t help out near as much as she needs and she’s terrified of leaving the house, afraid that she’ll see the woman and her babies will be stolen from her. However, her friends finally convince Lauren to take the twins out for a walk and to meet at a cafe. After the meeting goes well, Lauren is walking home and stops at a bench for a short rest. The only thing is, after many sleepless nights, she falls asleep and when she wake up her boys are gone. Lauren is frantic and even when the boys are found shortly after still in their stroller and unharmed she is convinced they are no longer her boys, but switched for the creatures from her hospital visit.
This story is just so creepy on a primal level. It pokes at those little insecurities and irrational fears that we all have. It brings out elements of fairy tales and ghost stories and keeps you wondering the entire time, what is real and what is only imagined.
As a girl who loves a good thriller, I appreciate when authors take a completely different turn from the normal. I adore stories based in fairy tales that play out in our world and even better when they have a suspenseful element.
Thank you so much to Crooked Lane Books & NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book!
“Lauren thought about the womb and how it had contained them both, fed them and kept them warm. She felt bad for them, that nature had taken away their loving home and put her there in its place; that they’d been pulled from her uterus and placed in her arms, where she was the only thing standing between them and oblivion, them and failure, them and disappointment. She, who couldn’t even pick up her boy and fill his little tummy, which was now, face it, her only purpose in life.”
-Melanie Golding, Little Darlings
*Please note, this quote is from an ARC copy, so it may change in the final copy.
Synopsis: 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.
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