on July 17th 2018
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sweetness can be deceptive.
She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.
She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.
With Baby Teeth, debut author Zoje Stage delivers the more than creepy tale of a young stay at home mother hindered by a less then stable seven year old daughter. Suzette and Hanna also have a relationship complicated by jealousy over the attentions of Alex, a husband and father divided by these two females. This story made me feel antsy, as a feared for Suzette’s life and the destruction of a family. How could a seven year old girl create so much turmoil in her mothers life? The story is told from the alternating points of view of this mother daughter twosome. In the opening chapter, when we learn that Hanna is “mute” and thus we begin a journey into the mind of child who is determined to drive a wedge between her parents and secure the adoration of her father.
Hanna is a seriously devious and disturbed child and frankly being in her head left me uncomfortable and on edge. I had nothing but compassion for Suzette. She’s restricted, mentally and emotionally damaged by lifelong health issues and has the unfortunate task of mothering a manipulative and dangerous child. After a “This is what anger, frustration, stress of any kind did to her: sent her body into overdrive, signaled the soldiers to come out and kill, and everything they shot was collateral damage. Life with an autoimmune disease. She couldn’t afford prolonged periods of distress, and she worried how her murky internalization of being Hanna’s frustrated mother was taking its toll.
Readers of the suspense genre will find Baby Teeth a fascinating read. This is the stuff that makes for nightmares. The story is captivating and the tension well paced. I was surprised at the direction of the story and where things were left off, leaving me to believe there’s a sequel to come. EEEK!!
~Review by Cyndi