Little Darlings

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Hannah Kent meets Leila Slimani’s Lullaby meets Rosemary’s Baby in the most unsettling book of the year.

The twins are crying.

The twins are hungry.

Lauren is crying.

Lauren is exhausted.

Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting....

After a traumatic birth, Lauren is alone on the maternity ward with her newborn twins. Her husband has gone home. The nurses are doing their rounds. She can’t stop thinking about every danger her babies now face. But all new mothers think like that. Don’t they?

A terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves Lauren convinced someone or something is trying to steal her children. But with every step she takes to keep her babies safe, Lauren sinks deeper and deeper into paranoia and fear. From the stark loneliness of returning home after birth to the confines of a psychiatric unit, Lauren’s desperation increases, as no one will listen to her. But here’s the question: is she mad, or does she know something we don’t?

Loosely inspired by the ghostly folktale The Brewery of Eggshells, where a mother becomes convinced her twins are in danger, Little Darlings offers a fresh perspective on modern motherhood, postnatal psychosis and the roles women play. It has always been thus: folktales do not spring from whimsy; they warn us and teach us and speak to the fear in us all.


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