Thursday, May 11, 2023

The New Mother by Nora Murphy

From Nora Murphy, author of The Favor, The New Mother is both relatable and nerve-wracking, sympathetic and bone-chilling—a fresh new twist on motherhood and murder in suburbia.

Isolated. Lonely. Tired. It's hard being The New Mother. Sometimes it's murder.

Nothing is simple about being a new mom alone in a new house, especially when your baby is collicky. Natalie Fanning loves her son unconditionally, but being a mother was not all she wanted to be.

Enter Paul, the neighbor.

Paul provides the lifeline she needs in what feels like the most desperate of times. When Paul is helping with Oliver, calmed by his reassuring, steady presence, Nat feels like she can finally rest.

But Paul wants something in return. It’s no coincidence that he has befriended Nat—she is the perfect pawn for his own plan. Will Nat wake up in time to see it?

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication May 30, 2023
 by Minotaur Books
3/5 stars

This is such a hard book for me to review. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's, previous book The Favour and jumped into this one expecting another addictive suspense read. But I didn’t get those vibes until the last 60%. To be honest, I almost gave up at 40% but since other reviews mentioned the action started later, I persevered. Also I was gifted both the audio and digital arcs and did listen to the last 40% in one go.

So what did I struggle with? The pacing was very slow and also very repetitive, but given the subject matter and reading the author notes at the end, kind of softened my view of how I felt. Does that make sense?

The New Mother is the story of Natalie, a professional attorney, highly educated, but this new, living creature named Oliver is now totally dependent on her. He doesn’t sleep so mom doesn't either, he cries all the time and she is at her wits end. Also, Nat believes she is the only one who can take care of Oliver properly, because she read that in a book or two, which then alienates her from family

Then there is Paul the neighbour, who is totally unreliable as a character but as Natalie’s new friend, he is someone she has come to lean on and trust. What follows is a twisty story that would have worked better for me if the last 40% was spread out a bit more and some of the repetitive detail was toned down.

The New Mother is a twisty story with a mystery as well as some serious subject matter for new moms. There should be trigger warnings for some which I won't mention but given the subject matter it should be obvious.

My thanks to St. Martin's Press and Macmillian Audio for an early copy in exchange for a honest review.

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