Stone Mothers has been on my reading list for a while now and I was so pleased to get the chance to finally read it last week as I am a huge Erin Kelly fan.
‘The Victorians used to call their mental hospitals stone mothers,’ I say. ‘They thought the design of the building could literally nurse the sick back to health.’
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.
I’ve read a couple of books by Erin Kelly now, but I think Stone Mothers has to be her best yet. If you haven’t yet read any of her books, then you really need to.
There’s a very dark atmosphere to this book. Imagine finding out that your partner has gone behind your back and bought a property, thinking that it is your dream home. But actually, it isn’t your dream home. This is what happens to Marianne in the opening chapters. There are dark secrets attached to the apartment her husband has bought. Dark secrets from Marianne’s past which threaten to derail her future.
The location which Erin Kelly has chosen to set her latest novel is a gothic, Victorian building which used to be an asylum known as the ‘Nazareth’. The asylum was closed down, and eventually, it was turned into luxury flats. In the local village, there is a deep sense of betrayal. The asylum used to be the lifeblood of the local town, providing work for generations. There are a lot of people who still believe it was a crime to close it down.
Although we first come to the asylum in the present, Erin Kelly does take us back to the time when it was a hospital. Some of these scenes were quite horrific, and it makes you realise just how utterly helpless the patients were. I was really intrigued by this part of the story; I wanted to see how it fed into the present day.
There are three central characters to Stone Mothers, Marianne, her ex-boyfriend Jesse and an MP, Helen Greenlaw. The plot which pulls them all together is really well thought out, and everything has been thought out in great detail. We know in the early beginning that dark secrets connecting the three of them and I was so keen to find out what this was. Erin Kelly kept me utterly gripped as she continued to peel away the layers.
Stone Mothers is a very dark novel that pulls you in from its opening pages. This is another brilliant book by Erin Kelly, and as I said earlier, I think it’s her best yet. Haunting and filled with suspense, highly recommended!
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 4th April 2019
Print length: 352 pages
If you would like to purchase Stone Mothers, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.