Review - Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
Narrated by Stephanie Racine
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books / Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Date Read: May 21, 2019
Length: 304 pages / 11 hours 51 minutes
Source: NetGalley / Purchased
“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 of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.
My Review

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.
About the Author

Melanie Golding is a graduate of the MA in creative writing program at Bath Spa University, with distinction. She has been employed in many occupations including farm hand, factory worker, childminder and music teacher. Throughout all this, because and in spite of it, there was always the writing. In recent years she has won and been shortlisted in several local and national short story competitions. Little Darlings is her first novel, and has been optioned for screen by Free Range Films, the team behind the adaptation of My Cousin Rachel.

Author Links:  Goodreads | Twitter


  1. I see myself enjoying this story. Great review

  2. Oooh, that does sound good. I like how you describe it as having a fairytale quality in a dark way. I can see where deeper emotions would enter in, too.

  3. I'm glad you liked this one. I've only read one other review, but they were kind of middle of the line on it.


  4. I like going into stories fairly blind, too!

  5. Oh it's great that it was that good there!

  6. Great review. I read this one too and loved it.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  7. I have this one and really need to get to it! Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Niiice! I've been eyeing this one lately and starting to think I might need to pick it up sooner rather than later! Love a good mystery and thrown in some fae and you pretty much have my attention! Lol. Nice review!

  9. It certainly does sound quite creepy!

  10. Wonderful review. It just sounds so frightening.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  11. I can't wait to read this one!!

  12. It sounds like this one did a good job! I have been seeing those positive reviews around too, and now yours included as well. I like the sound of those descriptions especially. It's not often that someone points that out as a books strength so I am curious!


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