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This surely was one of the creepiest books I have ever read. Mirabelle was the beloved daughter, a doll to her mother. Until the mother found another doll, a child Emma. Surely mother loved her more, didn’t she?
A debut by author Abby Davies, I got more gore than I hoped or wanted to read in a long, long time. The author sure filled it with some gruesome scenes in the latter half of the book when Mirabelle learned the truth about herself.
There was one minor problem. Mirabelle was said to be 12 or 13, just a teen who had started her menses, but the way she thought or acted, it was more apropos a much older child or young adult. Her reasoning and depth of perception led me to believe she was nearly an adult. The prose didn’t work with the cover pic.
Blood was splayed generously in the book. I had to cringe many times while I read it. Emotions of desperation came through. I liked how the author could make me root for Mirabelle, hoping she would find her freedom.
I was kind of speechless at the end, my stomach roiling. There was just too much of everything. The constant escape to freedom followed by captivity got to me. A slight tinge of Stockholm syndrome was written in. Any child who had spent 10 years with the mother who loved her would have it.
All I would say at the end. Read it on a strong day. Not a good thing to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
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One little girl.
Mirabelle’s mother loves her. She’s her ‘little doll’. Mother dresses her, paints her face, and plaits her hair. But as Mirabelle grows, the dresses no longer fit quite as well, the face paint no longer looks quite so pretty. And Mother isn’t happy.
Two little girls.
On Mirabelle’s 13th birthday, Mother arrives home with a present – a new sister, 5-year-old Clarabelle, who Mother has rescued from the outside world.
But Mother only needs one.
As it dawns on Mirabelle that there is a new ‘little doll’ in her house, she also realizes that her life isn’t what she thought it was. And that dolls often end up on the scrap heap…
Publication Date: 2021
I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
All my reviews can be found here.