About this book…
Marianne grew up in the shadow of the old asylum, a place that still haunts her dreams. She was seventeen when she fled the town, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried.
Now, forced to return, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving, is finally threatening to expose the truth.
Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built; the husband and daughter who must never know.
Even if it means turning to her worst enemy…
But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.
Moving back through time to reveal twists you’ll never see coming, Stone Mothers is the gripping new suspense novel from the bestselling author of He Said/She Said.
What did I think…
Erin Kelly is one of those authors who I will preorder books from without even reading the blurb. I was lucky enough to get a very early copy of Stone Mothers and actually started reading it without knowing anything about the plot beforehand (yes I was THAT desperate to get stuck in!!) And in a way I’m very glad that I chose to do so as it meant I had no preconceived ideas of what to expect from the storyline. It also meant that the slowly developed plot was able to keep me fully engaged as I remained in the dark about where it was heading and why.
Erin Kelly writes the most beautifully poetic prose to accentuate her narratives and it’s no different here in Stone Mothers. The subject matter is a difficult one to convey without resorting to cliches but the setting of an old “mental hospital” worked well as the backdrop to the three main protagonists and their connection to each other. None of them are particularly likeable at the beginning of the book but when it takes a turn and works backwards to reveal the secrets being kept, gradually an understanding develops of why they made the decisions that they did. So please do stick with this if you feel that the pace isn’t as fast as you are used to, the payoff is fabulous!
For me, Erin Kelly is a natural successor to one of my all time favourite authors Barbara Vine. I love her darkly disturbing twists that gradually creep up on you and wind tightly around your suspicions, squeezing until you can’t take anymore! But for me it wasn’t really about the “big event” that happened all those years ago, it was the backstory of one of the characters especially that completely involved me but made me so angry at the same time. That such things happened so recently in our society is unbelievable really but I know that things like this did occur regularly and Stone Mothers is very well researched so as to provide an accurate portrayal of the situation this character found themselves in and why.
I was fascinated by this book and adored the slow build up to what turned out to be a shocking conclusion. The themes of motherhood and mental health made a heartbreaking combination but one that worked well throughout this book. Erin Kelly fans will love Stone Mothers and I’m sure she will gain some more super fans with this stunning book. Highly recommended by me!
Stone Mothers is published by Hodder and Stoughton on 4th April 2019.
Postscript- the building mentioned in Stone Mothers reminded me of a Conference Centre very close to where I live that used to be a similar residence. I have also added a link about one of the former inhabitants of Cranage Hall Hospital (no spoilers as this has nothing to do with what happens in Stone Mothers but seems to be a sadly common story) and a picture of its exterior that stayed in my head whenever Park Royal Manor was mentioned.
Meet the author…
Erin Kelly is best known for her bestselling debut novel, The Poison Tree, which was a major ITV drama and longlisted for the John Creasy Dagger Award. She is the author of three further acclaimed stand-alone psychological thrillers and in 2013 was chosen to write the official novel of the Bafta-winning Broadchurch. Her work has been translated into seventeen languages. Erin has been a freelance journalist since 1998, and also teaches creative writing. She lives in London with her family.