Stone Mothers

Stone Mothers

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, forc...

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Title:Stone Mothers
Author:Erin Kelly
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Stone Mothers Reviews

  • Liz Barnsley

    This arrived then I read it. Because it’s Erin Kelly, author of now quite a few books that sit in my top reads of all time. Because I love the way she writes and the way she crafts her characters – especially that because truly, none of them ever leave me.

    Stone Mothers is an intense, intelligent and extraordinarily emotional novel that takes one unintentional outcome and shows the impact this has on those involved and those linked to them.

    Tracing a path back through time, pulling on a thread, un

    This arrived then I read it. Because it’s Erin Kelly, author of now quite a few books that sit in my top reads of all time. Because I love the way she writes and the way she crafts her characters – especially that because truly, none of them ever leave me.

    Stone Mothers is an intense, intelligent and extraordinarily emotional novel that takes one unintentional outcome and shows the impact this has on those involved and those linked to them.

    Tracing a path back through time, pulling on a thread, unravelling layers, this story is character driven drama at its very very best. It is nuanced and darkly observant, with those now very trademark “moments” I’ve come to associate with this author. MOMENTS not necessarily twists – where your heart stops for a beat or two and you have to just absorb the impact, accept the hit, remember to breath.

    Utterly compelling, where the things you think are true can be ironically turned around on you, with a beautifully complex and fascinating core and some plotting perfection, I loved this. Another one for that list.

    “They” say Crime can’t be literary and literary can’t be crime – well I say you can have the best of both worlds and here is Erin Kelly’s Stone Mothers to prove my point for me.

    Highly Recommended.

  • Mackenzie - PhDiva Books

    Poignant and haunting—Erin Kelly’s latest novel

    has an elegance to it that is both poetic and dark. Things are not always what they seem in this novel, and it is sort of written as a novel in reverse, beginning in present day and then moving progressively backwards in time, before resetting back to present day. I found the characters in this novel absolutely fascinating, particularly the more we learned about their past. By about 35% I struggled to put this book down!

    The setting of

    Poignant and haunting—Erin Kelly’s latest novel

    has an elegance to it that is both poetic and dark. Things are not always what they seem in this novel, and it is sort of written as a novel in reverse, beginning in present day and then moving progressively backwards in time, before resetting back to present day. I found the characters in this novel absolutely fascinating, particularly the more we learned about their past. By about 35% I struggled to put this book down!

    The setting of

    really takes the trend of refurbishing old buildings into luxury apartments to a new level, as a former Victorian mental asylum is transformed into luxury accommodations. I thought the descriptions of the hospital, both before and after the renovations, were so vivid. This is the first novel I’ve read by Erin Kelly but she has a way with building a mental image of the scenes she describes. I found this book to be incredibly atmospheric, which really added to the suspenseful feel of this gothic thriller!

    We begin in present day, where architectural professor Marianne Thackeray is traveling back to Nusstead, the place where she grew up to visit her ailing mother. Marianne left Nusstead—a town built primarily around Nazareth Mental Hospital—at seventeen, with barely a backward glance. A few years before she left, Nazareth closed its doors for good—sending the town of Nusstead into an economic crisis as the majority of residents were left without work.

    But the building itself—called a Stone Mother due to the belief when it was originally designed that the building itself could offer therapeutic benefits to those suffering from mental illness—always held a strange fascination for Nazareth. It is the place she first fell in love, and also the place where her darkest secret lives. A secret shared with her then boyfriend, Jesse Brame, and politician Helen Greenlaw.

    Now, Marianne is worried about the secret getting out. She’s returned to Nusstead and it has set off a chain of events that she’s not sure she can stop alone…

    That mysterious secret shared by an unlikely trio—I found myself wondering what it could possibly be! The first part of the book is told by Marianne in the present, and then the second part is told be Marianne in 1988—the year she was seventeen and decided to leave home. I won’t spoil anything, but this is where you learn about the secret, and it is quite unexpected! And you also learn about another secret…

    Then in the third part we move even further back in time to 1958, when Helen Greenlaw was a young woman, and more secrets are revealed. Helen as a character positively fascinated me. I wish I could talk more about Helen, but I think there is little I can say without spoiling it for readers. And rest assured, you do NOT want to be spoiled on Helen’s story! From the turn to 1988 in Part 2 and 1958 in Part 3, readers will not be able to put this book down. Both storylines are complete engrossing, and tie together with one another in very intricate ways.

    I’m going to leave you there with this review… I absolutely loved this book! As some readers noted, it is a bit slow in the first part, because you aren’t really sure what is going on fully. That didn’t bother me at all, I found it very typical for a gothic thriller to begin slow and build up. My recommendation—get to know Marianne and Nazareth in Part 1. It all ties together in a fantastically intricate way!!!

    Thank you to the awesome team at Minotaur Books for my copy.

  • Ova - Excuse My Reading

    I dnf'd this last december but after reading HE Said She Said (which was amazing) decided to try again and OMG! Glad I did. The start is slow but it's such a good read.

    Erin Kelly is like a" safe to pick up without reading the blurb" author for me now! (Poison Tree was awesome too)

  • Kaceey

    Marianne’s husband wants to give a gift he’s certain she will love. A second home in the small town she grew up in! Surprise! What a loving gesture. Unfortunately, this is the place Marianne never wanted to step foot in again. A place where she and those around her have deeply-hidden secrets that if found out could destroy lives.

    This is a slower paced novel told from different perspectives through different timelines. For me, Helen's story was the most provocative and compelling! I would hav

    Marianne’s husband wants to give a gift he’s certain she will love. A second home in the small town she grew up in! Surprise! What a loving gesture. Unfortunately, this is the place Marianne never wanted to step foot in again. A place where she and those around her have deeply-hidden secrets that if found out could destroy lives.

    This is a slower paced novel told from different perspectives through different timelines. For me, Helen's story was the most provocative and compelling! I would have loved for her to have remained the main focus from start to finish.

    I have to admit, in the beginning I had trouble following along. But as the timelines shifted, the story-line unraveled, I was pleasantly drawn into lives of the characters, anxious to see how it all would come together.

    This is the third book I’ve read from Erin Kelly, I felt it read more slowly than her previous releases but still found it an entertaining read that I would recommend!

    A buddy read with Susanne!🌸

    Thank you to Allison Ziegler at Minotaur Books and Erin Kelly for an ARC to read and review.

  • marilyn

    The story is told from the viewpoint of Marianne in the present and then when she was seventeen, from the viewpoint of Helen from the time she was a teenager until her eighties, and from the viewpoint of Honor, Marianne's daughter, in the present. During the first section of the book, I was having a hard time getting into the book but once we got to Marianne's younger years, getting more background to the story made it more interesting, and then by the time we got to Helen's viewpoint, I was hoo

    The story is told from the viewpoint of Marianne in the present and then when she was seventeen, from the viewpoint of Helen from the time she was a teenager until her eighties, and from the viewpoint of Honor, Marianne's daughter, in the present. During the first section of the book, I was having a hard time getting into the book but once we got to Marianne's younger years, getting more background to the story made it more interesting, and then by the time we got to Helen's viewpoint, I was hooked. Helen's story is a sad one but I had trouble deciding if her cold parents led to Helen's inability to connect with people or if she would have been that way anyway. Whatever the case, what happened to Helen when she was young, was the catalyst for the things that happen later in the book.

    A lot of the story takes place in and on the grounds of an old asylum, while it was still in use as an asylum, while it was a decrepit and dangerous mess of rubble, and lastly rebuilt as luxury apartments and cottages. A young Marianne and her young boyfriend Jesse, blackmail politician Helen and this leads to the three being tied to each other for decades to come. So many lies tie them together and each are haunted by what happened in the past and the secrets that they try to keep under wraps. The character of Helen intrigued me the most but for all she had in her life and all she accomplished, the fact that she could not connect with other people meant she had nothing at all.

    Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC.

  • Susanne  Strong

    Creepy, dark and downright scary - it’s not a place I’d ever want to visit.

    Marianne and Jess were sweethearts once. Then Marianne ran off. Jesse always believed that he got the short end of the stick. That makes him a desperate man.

    Nowadays, Helen Greenlaw is extremely successful - and yet she is always afraid that the walls are going to come crashing down. Meanwhile, Marianne’s husband

    Creepy, dark and downright scary - it’s not a place I’d ever want to visit.

    Marianne and Jess were sweethearts once. Then Marianne ran off. Jesse always believed that he got the short end of the stick. That makes him a desperate man.

    Nowadays, Helen Greenlaw is extremely successful - and yet she is always afraid that the walls are going to come crashing down. Meanwhile, Marianne’s husband Sam, has quite the surprise planned, which makes Marianne scared straight.

    “Stone Mothers” is novel that features different narrators - with Helen being my favorite as I felt her story was the strongest and found her character to be quite intriguing. Having read a few of Erin Kelly’s novels, I think this was one had a different feel to it than her others - it was slow to start and then it took off, and that was thanks to Helen who stole the show. To be perfectly honest, the creepy, dark atmosphere of this one gave me the chills. I have a feeling that once you take a deep dive into “Stone Mothers” you’ll react the same way!

    This was another buddy read with Kaceey!

    Thank you to Allison Ziegler at Minotaur Books, NetGalley and to Erin Kelley for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on NetGalley, Goodreads on 3.24.19.

    Will be published on Amazon on 4.23.19.

  • Berit☀️✨

    Erin Kelly has crafted a compelling story that starts with a whisper and ends with a shout. This is a slow burner that becomes more and more riveting as the story progresses. The story was cleverly constructed, Creating a constant air of mystery, and a continuous need to know. A story about living a life always fearing that the truth will come out. An institution that meant different things to different people. A real and raw look

    Erin Kelly has crafted a compelling story that starts with a whisper and ends with a shout. This is a slow burner that becomes more and more riveting as the story progresses. The story was cleverly constructed, Creating a constant air of mystery, and a continuous need to know. A story about living a life always fearing that the truth will come out. An institution that meant different things to different people. A real and raw look at Women and mental health throughout history.

    The story jumps around in time and is told from multiple perspectives. The book opens with Marianne returning home to help care for her ailing mother. Her loving husband has a surprise for her, A luxury apartment to stay in rather than camping out on her sister’s couch. The thing is the apartment is located in a renovated mental hospital, The place where all Mariann’s secrets are buried. Home also comes with the risk of running into her ex-boyfriend Jessie who is still bitter and blames her for the past. The story then bounces back in time to 1988 where we learn what Marianne and Jessie were up to. Then we jump back even further to 1958 where we meet a young Helen. I felt structuring the story this way was tremendously impactful. We got to meet the characters and then we got to understand why they were the way they were and what their motivations were.

    I found all these characters compelling, but I have to admit I found Helen’s story the most intriguing. The treatment of women who did not conform in the 1950s and earlier, in both the UK and the US was disgusting and disturbing. You really got to know and understand all these characters perspectives. They all wanted different things for different reasons and a lot of these things were conflicting, but I completely understood where each of them was coming from. Didn’t always agree with their actions, but I understood their motivations.

    This was an extremely well done, genre defying book that I won’t soon forget!

    🎧🎧🎧 this audiobook was narrated by three different narrator’s. Giving each character their own unique voice. I thought each narrator did a really good job. I need to give major props to whoever narrated Marianne she did an amazing Jessie voice. I think the English accents especially the regional accents really added to the overall atmosphere of this book.

    *** many thanks to Minotaur Books and MacMillan Audio for my copy of this book ***

  • Brenda - Traveling Sister

    3.5 Stars

    I read Stone Mothers with a couple of my Instagram friends and it lead to such a great discussion.

    Victorian mental asylum, deep dark secrets threatened to be exposed and the lengths these characters take to keep them buried.

    The Stone Mothers is an atmospheric, slow-burn psychological thriller that at times I found a bit like a drama rather than a thriller. I love a good atmospheric read with walls that hold secrets begging to be told and this story sure delivers on that. However, the

    3.5 Stars

    I read Stone Mothers with a couple of my Instagram friends and it lead to such a great discussion.

    Victorian mental asylum, deep dark secrets threatened to be exposed and the lengths these characters take to keep them buried.

    The Stone Mothers is an atmospheric, slow-burn psychological thriller that at times I found a bit like a drama rather than a thriller. I love a good atmospheric read with walls that hold secrets begging to be told and this story sure delivers on that. However, the part that didn’t quite deliver for me was the suspense I needed more but that was ok because the drama part of the story was well done.

    The story started off a bit slow at building the suspense and tension however it left us feeling as Heidi described as feeling like we were all part of a group but were the only ones who didn’t know what everyone was talking about. We felt like we were kept in the dark. I started to feel a bit impatient and frustrated and that slowed down the story for me. The story did pick up for me at Part two and I began to turn those pages as fast as I could to see how everything wrapped up in the end.

    What I really liked about this story and made the story for me I can’t really say as it could be a spoiler for some people. I guess that’s what makes discussing in a group so great. I highly recommend for buddy/group reads.

    I received a complimentary copy on NetGalley from the publisher

  • Pauline

    Marianne's husband has surprised her by buying a second home in the renovated asylum near where she grew up. Unfortunately the building has very disturbing memories from her youth and this is the reason she left the area and had planned never to return.

    A slow paced psychological thriller with a few twist and turns.

    Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Meredith

    2018: Marianne is horrified when her husband gifts her with a new home he purchased at Park Royal Manor. The Manor stands on the grounds of a former mental institution. It is also the place that holds Marianne’s deepest and darkest secrets from her past.

    1988: Marianne and her boyfri

    2018: Marianne is horrified when her husband gifts her with a new home he purchased at Park Royal Manor. The Manor stands on the grounds of a former mental institution. It is also the place that holds Marianne’s deepest and darkest secrets from her past.

    1988: Marianne and her boyfriend, bad boy Jesse, commit a crime that will haunt them for the remainder of their lives.

    1958: Helen Morris commits a crime in the eyes of society and is sentenced to be treated at The East Anglia Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

    Told through the eyes of Marianne, Helen, and Honor,

    offers an interesting take on the history of the Victorian mental asylum.

    The beginning of the novel moves at a very slow pace but gradually builds. I was ready to give up, but then at the 30% mark things finally started to get interesting with the transition to 1988 and Marianne’s past.

    In addition to different POV's,

    is also split into different timelines. I loved the narrative structure and change in timelines. Helen’s character and the story were the most fascinating! I would have liked to spend more time with her character. At the same time, I could have done without Honor’s take on events.

    This is a slow, but fascinating read about Victorian mental hospitals. Helen’s chapter is riveting and serves as an interesting commentary on how mental health was regarded and treated in the past.

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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