blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The New Mother – Julia Crouch

Who would you trust with your precious family?

Wanted: full-time, live-in help for expectant mother. Must be organised, friendly and willing to do anything.

Rachel is determined to be the perfect mother. She has a birth plan, with a playlist and a bag ready by the door. She’s chosen a lovely light cream paint for the nursery, and in wide-eyed, innocent Abbie she’s found the perfect person to help her with her baby.

After all, every mother needs a bit of help, don’t they?

But Rachel needs a little more than most.

She still makes sure her bedroom door is locked before she goes to sleep. She still checks the cameras that are dotted throughout the house.

Rachel trusts Abbie. Even if Abbie’s smiles don’t always reach her eyes, and the stories she tells about her past don’t always add up, it doesn’t matter.

Because Rachel knows better than to trust herself…

From the bestselling author of Her Husband’s Lover, this is a truly gripping story about how far people will go to find a family. Filled with tension and twists to keep you glued to every page, it is perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, Shari LaPena and The Girl on the Train.

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Julia started off as a theatre director and playwright. While her children were growing up, she swerved into graphic design. After writing and illustrating two children’s books for an MA, she discovered that her great love was writing prose. The picture books were deemed too dark for publication, so, to save the children, she turned instead to writing for adults. Her first book, Cuckoo, was published in 2011, and she has been writing what she calls her Domestic Noir novels ever since. She also writes for TV and teaches on the Crime Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. She has three grown up children and lives in Brighton with her husband and two cats, Keith and Sandra.

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My thoughts: at first I felt sorry for Abbie, her life seemed lonely and Rachel’s behaviour was exploitative and a little cruel, making her change her body to fit an unrealistic ideal just for social media. But then the balance shifted and Rachel became a lot more sympathetic.

Both women have had hard and traumatic childhoods, with loss and violence, but they’ve reacted in different ways, Rachel has, over a long time, chosen to make the most of herself and move on, while Abbie has internalised her pain and blames everyone else. In this case, Rachel.

I really liked Fran, she might get frustrated with Rachel, and worry endlessly about her, but she has her back through everything. And she’s prepared to do whatever she has to to protect her friend.

A really interesting, twisted thriller about friendship, dealing with our pasts and learning about who to trust.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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