Monday 18 October 2021

The New Mother by Julia Crouch BLOG TOUR @thatjuliacrouch @bookouture Books On Tour #TheNewMother #BookReview


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…

The New Mother by Julia Crouch was published on 12 October 2021 by Bookoutre. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour.

Julia Crouch is a very talented author who always entertains. I've read and enjoyed her books in the past and was delighted to have the opportunity to read and review The New Mother. 

I was gripped! It's relevant and up-to-date, focussing on that fairly recent phenomenon; the social media influencer. The rise of Instagram and more recently Tik-Tok has given authors such a lot of new material and Julia Crouch has tackled this subject so very well. The language is perfect, the observations are precise and the road to the shocking ending is littered with events that both shock and impress. 

Rachel @rachelhoneywell or just RR as she's known to her millions of loyal followers is having a baby and she wants a #MothersHelper. She's posted a request on her Insta grid and now she and her loyal #FriendFran are sorting through the many applicants.

Abbie is Rachel's hugest fan. She uses the products that Rachel endorses, she checks the grid for new posts regularly, she is utterly team Rachel and she is also determined to be the person who Rachel picks. The person who will help Rachel take care of baby beansprout when she or he appears. 

However, this is not just a tale of new mothers and social media influencers .....  oh no. This is a chilling and sometimes brutal psychological thriller that develops fairly slowly at the beginning and increases in tension throughout. The reader becomes aware that Rachel has an 'event' in her past. Something that affects her behaviour at times, she does things that she cannot prevent and it worries her. Only #FriendFran is aware of Rachel's past and does everything that she can to support her. 

Abbie is also a complex and complicated character, and as the story moves on, it becomes clear that her own past has had a profound effect on her mental state, and her desire to be Rachels' helper stems from more than just admiration. 

This is a story that made me hold my breath at times,  the darkness of the situation gets bleaker and blacker, the tension increases and the explosive ending is totally and utterly satisfying. 

A brilliant story, with excellently created characters who the reader may not like, but who are enthralling to read about. Highly recommended by me. 

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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