Friday, May 10, 2019

Review: Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly

Title: Stone Mothers
Author: Erin Kelly
Published: April 2019, Minotaur Books
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Source: Publisher

Erin Kelly, the masterful author of He Said/She Said, delivers another irresistible, unputdownable novel of psychological suspense.

You can't keep the secret.
You can't tell the truth.
You can't escape the past...

Marianne was seventeen when she fled her home in Nusstead – leaving behind her family, her boyfriend, Jesse, and the body they buried. Now, thirty years later, forced to return to in order to help care for her sick mother, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving in the first place, 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 what happened all those years ago. Even if it means turning to her worst enemy for help... But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn't the only one with secrets they'd kill to keep.

My thoughts:  I was a huge fan of Erin Kelly's last book, He Said/She Said, so of course I knew I had to read this latest one and I loved it just as much. Let me tell you, this author can write a compelling, character-driven story like no one's business!

I loved the way this book was structured. It does jump around in time and it is told from multiple perspectives, but by doing this, by crafting the story this way, the story was all the more powerful. We would meet the characters as they are now, and then go back and understand why they turned out that way, see what happened and what their motivations are for why they do what they do.

This book is quite complex and at times, it's quite dark. It's atmospheric and creepy, and I was equally fascinated and disgusted by the way people with mental illnesses were treated. Erin Kelly certainly has a knack for getting you to think about social issues while reading. I had no idea "stone mothers" was another name used for mental hospitals, or asylums, in Victorian times. And after reading about the way the patients in these asylums were treated even into the late 1950s, the title takes on a whole new meaning.

I loved the slow build-up of suspense in this book and the way everything eventually ties together. There are some interesting twists and a cliffhanger at an unusual spot, which only adds to the intrigue, but it all comes together in a stunning conclusion. BUT I caution you - if you are looking for a fast-paced story, this is not the book for you. This is a character-driven tale about unintended outcomes and how that impacts those involved. I cannot recommend this book enough!!!



  1. Kristin,
    This sounds like a book that would really hold your attention. I enjoyed reading your excellent, glowing review.

  2. I haven't read Erin Kelly yet but I do love a character driven read, so will do so ASAP.


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