Title: Baby Teeth
Author: Zoje Stage - Check out her blog here!
Genre: Suspense; Thriller; Romance
I was lucky enough to meet Zoje in-person at my local indie bookstore, Riverstone Books, for a signing of and discussion on Baby Teeth! It was wonderful to hear the author speak about all the little tidbits she had to offer!
Summary (from Goodreads):
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."
Ooooooooohhhh this one was creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy! Loved it. Loved It. LOVED IT! Reading this book, I had more audible gasps, wide-eyed looks, and shocked faces than with anything I think I have ever read.
IMPORTANT! There are 3 very specific reasons why this book was one I had to have:
- Zoje Stage is a local Pittsburgh author (where I live), and the book is based in my wonderful city.
- The whole mother vs. daughter struggle - I have a 1-year-old daughter, so anything about this subject intrigues me.
- Suzette suffers from Crohn's disease - I suffer from ulcerative colitis, which was diagnosed during my pregnancy and I came disturbingly close to dying because of it. Colitis is quite similar to Crohn's, so I identified with this very strongly.
Hanna is by far one of the most disturbing little characters I have ever been introduced to. What a little mental case! She's way too smart for her own good, cunning, extremely creative, manipulative, and just plain evil. (The ending of the book truly seals the deal about her, but I am giving no spoilers away on this one!)
Suzette...I love her and I think she's a creep, too. On one hand, her 7-year-old daughter is literally attempting to kill her throughout the entire book, so I feel for her. She's afraid of and resentful towards her daughter, and rightfully so. But, she also has these weird, creepy mommy moments where she just screams and swears at Hanna, but totally out of context. I dunno, that was my take on some of those moments.
ALSO, Suzette describes her Crohn's in painful detail, and I ate up every word of it. (At the book discussion, Zoje confirmed that she suffers from Crohn's, and Suzette's Crohn's story is, in fact, her Crohn's story - except for the "during pregnancy" part). The specific points that resonated deeply with me: she talked about how much worse the condition got while she was pregnant; the fear of leaving the house for too long because of a flare-up or sudden need for a bathroom in an unfamiliar place; how it makes her feel weak, damaged, and less capable of being a strong mother, wife, career woman, and person in general. I'm there, girl. Totally with you. LOVED this part of the book, weird and graphic as it is.
Without revealing a single word more, I leave you with this: Go buy this damn book and devour it/let it devour you - because yes, both happen! It's creepy, twisted, haunting, and yet somehow plausible. And it is now a personal treasure of mine, because my copy is signed by the author woo woo!!
☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ = Phenomenal! Highly recommended!