Friday, December 23, 2022

Book Review: Graveyard of Lost Children by Katrina Monroe

Title: Graveyard of Lost Children
Author: Katrina Monroe
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Pages: 384
Release Date: May 9, 2023
Genre: Ghost Thriller/Gothic Fiction

Once she has her grip on you, she'll never let you go.

At four months old, Olivia Dahl was almost murdered. Driven by haunting visions, her mother became obsessed with the idea that Olivia was a changeling, and that the only way to get her real baby back was to make a trade with the "dead women" living at the bottom of the well. Now Olivia is ready to give birth to a daughter of her own...and for the first time, she hears the women whispering.

Everyone tells Olivia she should be happy. She should be glowing, but the birth of her daughter only fills Olivia with dread. As Olivia's body starts giving out, slowly deteriorating as the baby eats and eats and eats, she begins to fear that the baby isn't her daughter at all and, despite her best efforts, history is repeating itself.

Soon images of a black-haired woman plague Olivia's nightmares, drawing her back to the well that almost claimed her life―tying mother and daughter together in a desperate cycle of fear and violence that must be broken if Olivia has any hope of saving her child...or herself.

Baby Teeth meets The Invited in a haunting story of the sometimes-fragile connection between a woman's sense of self and what it means to be a "good" mother.

A disturbing story to say the least but one that kept me turning the pages quickly to find out what was going to happen.

This story is told from two different perspectives - that of Shannon and that of Shannon's daughter, Olivia. Shannon has Olivia as a teenager and there is something that isn't right...she believes that Olivia is a changeling. After seeing the dark haired woman and seemingly losing her mind, she is sent to stay in a psychiatric facility leaving Olivia to be raised by her grandparents.

Olivia seems to be leading a normal life, married to her wife and pregnant. When she has Flora it is one of the happiest days of her life. But soon she realizes that something is wrong with her baby. Something only she sees. And the only person that might be able to understand is her mother who she has never spoken to. Why is the black haired woman around all the time? What is her significance? And where is her true baby, not the infant that everyone else thinks is normal but Olivia knows is not.

An interesting take on motherhood and what pregnancy can do to you, I really enjoyed the story and what the black haired woman truly represented. A lot of suspense which is one of my favorite things. Were these infants human or not? Were the mothers crazy or was something more sinister going on? You'll have to read to find out!

Katrina Monroe is the author of They Drown Our Daughters, and Graveyard of Lost Children (coming May 2023). A private investigator by day, she lives in Minnesota with her wife, two children, and Eddie, the ghost who haunts their bedroom closets.

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