Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pub Date: 6th August 2020
Review Date: 16th October 2020
One little girl. Mirabelle’s mother loves her. She’s her ‘little doll’. Mother dresses her, paints her face, and plaits her hair. But as Mirabelle grows, the dresses no longer fit quite as well, the face paint no longer looks quite so pretty. And Mother isn’t happy. Two little girls. On Mirabelle’s 13th birthday, Mother arrives home with a present – a new sister, 5-year-old Clarabelle, who Mother has rescued from the outside world. But Mother only needs one. As it dawns on Mirabelle that there is a new ‘little doll’ in her house, she also realizes that her life isn’t what she thought it was. And that dolls often end up on the scrap heap…
Mother Loves Me is an intensely disturbing psychological thriller that had me gripped right from the first page. Very early on we learn that not only has Mother been painting Mirabelle’s face like a doll, Mirabelle also has a skin allergy that is so fatal she is unable to go outside. Mirabelle longs for the outdoors but knows that making this request will only result in upsetting Mother. And Mirabelle is a good little girl who both loves and lives to please her mother. But on Mirabelle’s 13th birthday, Mother arrives home with a new doll, five-year-old Clarabelle. And Mirabelle is no longer the centre of Mother’s attention.
Mirabelle soon learns that the story Mother has told her about Clarabelle, doesn’t ring true and this leads her to dig into her own past – where she finds out that everything she thought she knew about herself, including the reason she can’t go outside – is a lie. This is where the story literally had my heart pounding with goose-bumps running down my spine. You want Mirabelle to find out the truth, but at the same time you know this will also put her in grave danger. It is clear from the outset that Mother is weird but as the story progresses it also becomes clear just how evil she is too. Think Eleanor Oliphant’s mother!
But just what are those banging noises that Mirabelle can hear coming from the garden? OMG just wait until you find this out!
It is hard to believe this book is a debut. This first-person narrative is well-written with a good balance between painting a vivid picture of character and setting, whilst ensuring a fast-paced plot that will leave you breathless.
I thoroughly recommend this book for fans of Louise Jensen, C L Taylor, and Jo Ullah.
About the Author
After acquiring a degree in English Literature, Abby taught English in state and private schools, and earned a Creative Writing MA in 2013. She wrote a great deal throughout her twenties and early thirties. To stay motivated, she told herself that even if it took her until 80 to get her work out to readers, she'd do it. Abby lives in Wiltshire with her husband and daughter. MOTHER LOVES ME is her debut novel.
Thank you to the author for a copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.
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