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Little Darlings

A Novel
Narrated by: Stephanie Racine
Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
4 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Mother knows best" takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms' Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy's The Perfect Mother.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they're right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she's never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own...creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she's imagining things. 

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren's side in a park. But when they're found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley - to everyone else - but to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, "These are not my babies!" 

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she's wrong about what she saw, she'll be making the biggest mistake of her life. 

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking - and rechecking - your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

©2019 Melanie Golding (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A creepy kind of mystery!

I really enjoyed this book! I knew that I wanted to read this book after seeing a couple of really favorable early reviews. Since I didn't get to it prior to the book's release, I decided to take a look at the audiobook and I was sold on it after listening to the sample. I was somewhat mesmerized by this story and found myself frequently wanting to read just a little bit more. I am really glad that I made the decision to read this book.

I didn't really know what to expect from this book when I started reading it since I try to go into books as blindly as I can. I was drawn into the story right away. I think that one of the main strengths of this story is its descriptions. I felt like I was right there with Lauren when she had the twins and felt her frustration and exhaustion as she worked to care for them largely on her own. Her fear, her panic, and her desperation were all beautifully illustrated through the details of this tale.

This was really more of a mystery than anything but there is a bit of otherness to the story. There is definitely a fairy tale aspect to the story with changlings at its core. I really liked the fact that in addition to Lauren's point of view we also get to see things from Detective Harper's perspective. I couldn't help but wonder what was really going on and I wanted both of these women to succeed in their quest to figure things out and protect the babies.

I thought that Stephanie Racine did an amazing job with this book. This was an emotional story at times and I think that the narration was able to add a certain element to a number of passages. She had a very pleasant voice with a nice accent that was easy to listen to for hours at a time. There were quotes at the beginning of some chapters that were done by a different narrator, the author I believe. I would have preferred to see a single narrator for this story. I don't think that there was really a point to having someone else read the quotes at the beginning of the chapters and I wasn't a fan of the delivery. Even the audio quality seemed off during those sections. Thankfully, the quotes are very infrequent and had no real impact on the story or my enjoyment of it.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought this was a really well-done story with just enough of a creepy factor to keep me hooked from beginning to end. I cannot wait to read more of Melanie Golding's work!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley and purchased a copy of the audiobook.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Can’t do it, just can’t

Got to chapter three and I just can’t do this book. I wanted to like it and it did get decent reviews, but, if it gets better further on it will do so without me. Boring and a rehashed story told many times in various forms, this one is just dark and depressing.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Tiffany

Why does audible place this on my recommended for you list? I couldn’t make it past chapter 2 before I returned it. One of the worst books I’ve attempted to listen too. Save your credit and don’t waste your time

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Great story!!

I LOVED this book! Lauren is under a lot of stress. She just had twins and her husband is a jerk. So everything falls on her. One day she accidentally (?) falls asleep on a park bench and the twins are taken. They are found about a hour lately, completely unharmed. or are they?
this story is a beautiful fairy tale for the modern day. i loved all of it. are they the twins or not? is it all in Lauren's exhausted mind or it something really going on? you will have to read or listen to this to find out. i would most definitely read more by this author.
Stephanie Racine narrates the majority of this and she does SO good! i also enjoyed the bits read by the author, Melanie Golding.

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Great Read, surprising ending

I listened to this audiobook on a road trip and could not wait to do the return trip to hear the rest. I liked it so much, I drove the speed limit just to prolong the ride and hear my book.

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Creepily fantastic debut

I couldn't hit pause on this book. It reminded me very much of Madeleine Miller's Circe. Little Darlings is a spin on old creepy fairytales, mashed-up with the very real psychosis of postpartum depression. When Lauren is visited by a witch, who offers to exchange one of her twin babies for one of the witches', it sets off a series of events - including an abduction, a possibly insane mom, and the careful and empathetic investigations of the claims, by Detective Harper.

It's impossible to know if what is happening to Lauren is real or imagined. Her narration is as reliable as the wife in Yellow Wallpaper. Golding's gorgeous writing, and knack for creepiness and suspense, will keep you pushing through at a sprint runner's pace.

I loved this book, and would love to read a series that includes more investigations from Detective Harper.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not creepy, not thrilling, not even a mystery

If you are looking for any of those things, you won’t find them here. The book was well written, but had virtually no suspense.

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    3 out of 5 stars

great story. terrible ending

the story was great and I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen but I was highly disappointed with the ending. It felt rushed and unfinished. There were so many Loose Ends. If they're planning to be another book after this? it just felt like after all that we needed a little bit more closure or a twist or something other than the way it ended.