Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly #gifted #bookreview

‘The Victorians used to call their mental hospitals stone mothers,’ I say. ‘They thought the design of the building could literally nurse the sick back to health.’

Marianne grew up in the shadow of the old asylum, a place that still haunts her dreams. She was seventeen when she fled the town, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried.

Now, forced to return, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built; the husband and daughter who must never know.
Even if it means turning to her worst enemy…

But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.


I liked it.

In fact, I liked Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly a lot.

I thought that the whole thing was well written, and I loved the history of the Victorian hospital – The Stone Mother.

I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it.

I loved the very creepy, eerie and unjust setting. The Stone Mother was atmospheric. The building and architecture of the stone mother was a complete character in its own right. A character I enjoyed getting to know a bit more about.

But I will admit that I was a little bit bored at the beginning of the book, it took me a good few chapters before I found myself hooked. I did think about putting the novel down and DNFing on more than one occasion near the very beginning, which would have been a real shame because when the book grabbed me, it grabbed me.

In my opinion the story definitely got stronger after the first third. It wasn’t so much a slow burn start as just slow. Of course everything needed to be set up, but at points I think Erin Kelly worked too hard at keeping – SPOILER, a secret for a bit of a twist. I just found the hint dropping a little tedious after a while. Especially when it is right in the blurb about – “the body they buried”.

The book is written and structured around three main parts, with different characters taking the lead role. The story works its way back through time, before returning to the present for the final act. I thought it was a rather fantastic plot device. I thought the plot structuring was clever.

Stone Mothers was the first book by Erin Kelly that I have read but it won’t be the last. It’s a book that I am sure I will be recommending to anyone and everyone on a regular basis. With a wee warning about the slow start.

It was a memorable read, and considering how crowded the crime/drama genre is, it is quite an achievement to stand out. And stand out it did!

Great read.

I received a copy of Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly for review from the publisher, via NetGalley. The review is my own opinion.

14 thoughts on “Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly #gifted #bookreview

Add yours

  1. Fantastic review! Seems like a perfect spooky read, I am glad you didn’t give up after the slow start. I will keep an eye out for this book!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to hear that your persistence to read the book paid off in the end. I rarely drop books I start reading.. but slow starts are just slow.. unless the writing is amazing. The book sounds a bit gothic and I like that.
    Is it paranormal in anyway? I didn’t realise “Stone Mother” was an asylum.. that’s freaky but the title leaves a lot for interpretation (and inspiration)

    Thanks for the review 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, it doesn’t have any paranormal aspect to the story but it is packed full of atmosphere and it’s now been a while since I read it and I still remember it well – always a good sign. It was a really good read.
      Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂


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