Thank you so much to St. Martin’s Press for providing my free review copy – all opinions are my own.
Afflicted with a chronic debilitating condition, Suzette Jensen knew having children would wreak havoc on her already fragile body. Nevertheless, she brought Hanna into the world, pleased and proud to start a family with her husband Alex. Estranged from her own mother, Suzette is determined to raise her beautiful daughter with the love, care, and support she was denied. But Hanna proves to be a difficult child. Now seven-years-old, she has yet to utter a word, despite being able to read and write. Defiant and anti-social, she refuses to behave in kindergarten classes, forcing Suzette to homeschool her. Resentful of her mother’s rules and attentions, Hanna lashes out in anger, becoming more aggressive every day. The only time Hanna is truly happy is when she’s with her father. To Alex, she’s willful and precocious but otherwise the perfect little girl, doing what she’s told. Suzette knows her clever and manipulative daughter doesn’t love her. She can see the hatred and jealousy in her eyes. And as Hanna’s subtle acts of cruelty threaten to tear her and Alex apart, Suzette fears her very life may be in grave danger…
This is definitely a unique, fiendish, and slightly uncomfortable thriller, but in the best way. It’s a slower paced book, but you will definitely get creeped out by this devious, wicked child. Suzette and Alex Jensen appear to be the ideal family with their seven-year-old precocious daughter Hanna. Alex works as an architect and Suzette is a stay-at-home mom who homeschools Hanna. Hanna can do no wrong as she is daddy’s little girl, the apple of his eye. Suzette does not homeschool Hanna by choice as she has been kicked out of several schools and chooses to be mute. That’s right – Hanna chooses not to speak mainly to drive her mom insane. Hanna wants her mom out of the picture to have her dad all to herself and only shows all her cards in the presence of Suzette.
This read to me like a day in the life of Hanna and Suzette’s dynamic relationship but between an evil child and a nervous mother – I loved it. The narrative alternates between these two distinct voices. Hanna is vengeful, manipulative, and intelligent, plotting and scheming against her mother while being sweet and loving to her father. Being in her mind is a total trip because she’s SEVEN. All the while, being in Suzette’s fearful, anxious mind while she copes with being afraid of her own daughter is fascinating. I can see why this book is so divisive, but I love a good character driven story, especially with a sinister child like Hanna. BABY TEETH is so compelling, interesting, and eerie. I am all about reading the next Stage book!
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars!
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