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Stone Mothers

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3.55  ·  Rating details ·  2,912 ratings  ·  536 reviews
Erin Kelly, the masterful author of He Said/She Said, delivers another irresistible, unputdownable novel of psychological suspense.

You can't keep the secret.
You can't tell the truth.
You can't escape the past...

Marianne was seventeen when she fled her home in Nusstead – leaving behind her family, her boyfriend, Jesse, and the body they buried. Now, thirty years later, forc
...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by Minotaur Books (first published April 4th 2019)
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,912 ratings  ·  536 reviews


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Meredith
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

“Sodomites. Pederasts. Deviants. Reproductive Control. Behavioral Correction.” All treatable at The East Anglia Pauper Lunatic Asylum established 1868.

“You’re actually lucky to be ill in this day and age.”


2018: Marianne is horrified when her husband gifts her with a new home he purchased at Park Royal Manor. The Manor stands on the grounds of a former mental institution. It is also the place that holds Marianne’s deepest and darkest secrets from her past.

1988: Marianne and her boyf
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Kaceey
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5*
Marianne’s husband wants to give a gift he’s certain she will love. A second home in the small town she grew up in! Surprise! What a loving gesture. Unfortunately, this is the place Marianne never wanted to step foot in again. A place where she and those around her have deeply-hidden secrets that if found out could destroy lives.

This is a slower paced novel told from different perspectives through different timelines. For me, Helen's story was the most provocative and compelling! I would hav
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Berit☀️✨
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
enthralling, atmospheric, chilling, unsettling, and eye-opening!

Erin Kelly has crafted a compelling story that starts with a whisper and ends with a shout. This is a slow burner that becomes more and more riveting as the story progresses. The story was cleverly constructed, Creating a constant air of mystery, and a continuous need to know. A story about living a life always fearing that the truth will come out. An institution that meant different things to different people. A real and raw look
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marilyn
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is told from the viewpoint of Marianne in the present and then when she was seventeen, from the viewpoint of Helen from the time she was a teenager until her eighties, and from the viewpoint of Honor, Marianne's daughter, in the present. During the first section of the book, I was having a hard time getting into the book but once we got to Marianne's younger years, getting more background to the story made it more interesting, and then by the time we got to Helen's viewpoint, I was hoo ...more
Susanne  Strong
3.5 stars* (rounded up)

Secrets: Everyone has them. Some, are best kept hidden!

Nazareth: It’s an eerie place.
Creepy, dark and downright scary - it’s not a place I’d ever want to visit.

Marianne and Jess were sweethearts once. Then Marianne ran off. Jesse always believed that he got the short end of the stick. That makes him a desperate man.

Nowadays, Helen Greenlaw is extremely successful - and yet she is always afraid that the walls are going to come crashing down. Meanwhile, Marianne’s husband
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I remember well my experience reading He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly. Wow, did I ever find it tense and mesmerizing. Kelly has her own style. Her writing is tantalizing, completely immersing you in the minds of her characters; characters you will come to know in three-dimension, and you will feel as if you are living amongst them.

Marianne left her home in a small working class town at the age of seventeen. She left her family, her somewhat troubled, but devoted, boyfriend, Jesse, and a dead bod
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Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 Stars

I read Stone Mothers with a couple of my Instagram friends and it lead to such a great discussion.

Victorian mental asylum, deep dark secrets threatened to be exposed and the lengths these characters take to keep them buried.

The Stone Mothers is an atmospheric, slow-burn psychological thriller that at times I found a bit like a drama rather than a thriller. I love a good atmospheric read with walls that hold secrets begging to be told and this story sure delivers on that. However, the
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Ova - Excuse My Reading
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I dnf'd this last december but after reading HE Said She Said (which was amazing) decided to try again and OMG! Glad I did. The start is slow but it's such a good read.
Erin Kelly is like a" safe to pick up without reading the blurb" author for me now! (Poison Tree was awesome too)
Zoeytron
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
A mother who wants to hang on too long.  A mother who never wanted to be a mother in the first place.  And a mother whose memory is crumbling bit by bit, courtesy of dementia.  A husband's gift to his wife was meant to be a special surprise.  It was, but he couldn't have guessed the nightmares it would cause to surface.  Her mind turns itchy, full of dark thoughts churning like eels.  Patience is key here, let things simmer, the full rolling boil will come soon enough.
Liz Barnsley
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This arrived then I read it. Because it’s Erin Kelly, author of now quite a few books that sit in my top reads of all time. Because I love the way she writes and the way she crafts her characters – especially that because truly, none of them ever leave me.
Stone Mothers is an intense, intelligent and extraordinarily emotional novel that takes one unintentional outcome and shows the impact this has on those involved and those linked to them.
Tracing a path back through time, pulling on a thread, un
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Ceecee
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

Alternative title ‘We Know, You know’

Why does Marianne fill with panic, shock and terror when husband Sam makes a surprise purchase of a luxury apartment in the newly converted Nazareth Hospital, originally the East Anglia Pauper Lunatic Asylum. The conversion is stunning and it has beautiful features. It is close to where Marianne was born in Nusstead, Suffolk and it will mean she can be close to her very sick mother and not impose on relatives who have little space. Her feelings seem
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Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, suspense, gothic
Poignant and haunting—Erin Kelly’s latest novel Stone Mothers has an elegance to it that is both poetic and dark. Things are not always what they seem in this novel, and it is sort of written as a novel in reverse, beginning in present day and then moving progressively backwards in time, before resetting back to present day. I found the characters in this novel absolutely fascinating, particularly the more we learned about their past. By about 35% I struggled to put this book down!

The setting of
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Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
As I got into Stone Mothers, I realized I was at page 50 and still had no idea what was going on. And not in a "let's spin the mystery and build the suspense" kind of way, but in the "what the hell is happening?" kind of way. I was confused and annoyed, contemplating just DNFing it.

But I stuck it out... and around page 100 it got better. Part 2 and Part 3 were definitely better than Part 1.

Not enough to save this book though, in my opinion. 2.5 stars rounded down.

If you want to read a book by th
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Darinda
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
As a teenager, Marianne left her hometown of Nusstead. Now, thirty years later, she has returned to care for her ailing mother. Marianne's husband surprises her with a new flat in Nusstead. Unfortunately, the flat is in a renovated mental asylum. The one place that Marianne never wanted to see again. Marianne has a secret from her past that deals with the former asylum, and she wants to keep her secret hidden.

Told with multiple points of view (Marianne, Helen, and Honor) and multiple timelines (
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Pauline
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Marianne's husband has surprised her by buying a second home in the renovated asylum near where she grew up. Unfortunately the building has very disturbing memories from her youth and this is the reason she left the area and had planned never to return.
A slow paced psychological thriller with a few twist and turns.
Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Helen Power
Initial Review:

I had a hard time getting into this book. It's well written, but I had some difficulty connecting with the characters until about two-thirds of the way through the book, when we got to experience the point of view of a fascinating character...

Full Review:

Synopsis
Marianne left her hometown a long time ago, only returning for brief visits with her family.  But when her husband buys a surprise gift--a condo in a refurbished mental institution--she’s forced to come back and fac
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ABookwormWithWine
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly is an incredibly atmospheric, slow-burn of a mystery that will keep you in suspense until the very last page.

What it's about: Marianne moved away from her hometown of Nusstead when she was just a teenager, leaving both her family and boyfriend Jesse behind. Now she has come back thirty years later to help her sister take care of their aging mother. But Nusstead, and especially an old asylum turned flats, holds a lot of secrets for her, Jesse, and others.
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Kristy
Marianne's heart drops when she realizes her husband, Sam, has bought a flat for her in the town where she grew up, Nusstead. It's in the town's former mental asylum--all prettied up and converted into beautiful apartments. But Sam doesn't know about the dark secrets the asylum holds for Marianne and her teenage boyfriend, Jesse. Marianne fled Nusstead--and Jesse--as soon as she could, making a new life for herself with daughter Honor and Sam. Jesse never really forgave her and now that she's ba ...more
Carrie
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly is a psychological thriller that is told from multiple points of view and from different points in time. There are three main viewpoints from Marianne, Honor and Helen.

Marianne had left her hometown as a teenager and had not returned since. Now however Marianne’s mother has become ill and in a kind gesture her husband buys a home in her old town to be near her mother but Marianne can’t help but feel the secrets of her past coming back to haunt her.

Erin Kelly was an au
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Stephanie
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rounded up to 4.5 Stars for this slow-burning suspense!

After reading He Said, She Said and being blown away, Erin Kelly immediately went on my list of authors whose books I had to read as soon as they came out. When I heard Stone Mothers was coming out, I knew I had to read it.

I'm not going to completely retell the synopsis here because I think it gives the perfect amount of information for you to go into the book; honestly, it's best to go into this one a little blind as I think it is with all
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Bibliophagist89
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book by Erin Kelly and would like to read more of her work.

The book has so many layers to it, it really holds your interest, there is a couple of slow bits but it's not so bad and it manages to tie the story together.

Although there is a main character Marianne and the story is largely narrated by her the other characters are quite strong and at the end there is two small parts of the story narrated by Marianne's daughter Honor and another character Helen Greenlaw MP, this is
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Blair
‘Stone mother’ was a Victorian term for an asylum. Such a building sits at the heart of this novel, looming large over the small Suffolk town of Nusstead and defining many of the characters’ lives. Having escaped her impoverished background, Marianne has tried to leave behind memories of her ex-boyfriend Jesse and the terrible crime they covered up together. With her mother declining due to dementia, however, Marianne is forced to return. Her wealthy husband Sam thinks he’s doing her a favour by ...more
Anna Luce
★★★✰✰ 2.5 stars (rounded up to 3)

“People lie to cover their tracks all the time but in the aftermath of true horror, there is a window – minutes, even seconds long – where shock drives out dissemblance and there is only room for a kind of devastated honesty.”


This is a novel that never quite reaches its full potential.
Still, I'll try to first address the things that I liked about Stone Mothers.
I found the discourse on class and money (the way it can change you in ways that you might not be aware
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Frank Phillips
May 11, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars...
Well this was one of the strangest reads! Mostly because the first 150 pages were so incredibly slow I wanted to give up on this and move on to something else, but something told me to stick to it though and I'm pretty happy I did...I have a sense of accomplishment now! With the first half being two stars and the second half being four stars, I decided to go somewhere in between with this one on my rating. That being said, this is almost exactly how my previous experience with Erin K
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Jamie Rosenblit
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
The first book I ever read of Erin Kelly's was He/Said, She/Said in 2017 and this book also made my best of the year that year. Naturally, I've been excited to see what Kelly would follow up with ever since. Enter Stone Mothers. Marianne's husband has surprised her by purchasing them an apartment near her ailing mother, which also happens to be her childhood hometown - but, these apartments have been built where a now-defunct mental hospital used to be. Weird, to say the least. Marianne is extre ...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
The Victorians used to call their mental hospitals stone mothers.

This book started off a little slow for me but the writing itself was so incredible that I continued on and am SO glad I did. Once you get to the big reveal it comes in like a wrecking ball and doesn't let up. You will think to yourself that some of the plot is predictable after that but you have to keep reading to see what other surprises the author will throw into the mix, and there are quite a few.

Erin Kelly is an amazing wr
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C.L. Taylor
Wow. What an incredible book. I've just this second finished it and I'm in awe of Erin Kelly's skill as a writer - not just her beautifully lyrical prose and her ability to weave together a clever plot but her ability to take a theme and layer and build it so perfectly that it consumes you. There is a crime in Stone Mothers - there are several crimes - and, on the surface, it's about a chain of events that reverberate across the decades after one woman enters an asylum in 1958. But, more than th ...more
KC
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, suspense, crime, thriller
When Marianne reluctantly returns to her hometown she is overcome with fear and despair. She will do anything in her power to keep the tremendous pain and secrets that have lied dormant in her past as far away from her husband and daughter. Erin Kelly's latest story centers around an abandoned mental hospital, the former patients, the suspicious deaths and those who were most traumatized. This thrilling suspense novel is for anyone who enjoys Ruth Ware.
Leah
Apr 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, abandoned
20% read and all I've been given are lots of hints and allusions to something that happened "that day" - tedious, formulaic and overdone. First person, present tense narration. Really, it couldn't be more like every second "thriller" written in the last five years if it tried. I suspect, of course, that that is what it's aiming for. Success, then, for what it's worth, and I'm sure plenty of people will enjoy it. Not me, however. Abandoned.
Patricia
Stone Mothers is a fabulous read. I loved this layered novel, and the build up of the characters. The novel is centered around things which occurred at an old mental hospital. Erin Kelly is an author I will be looking for. I highly recommend this book!
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Kindle English My...: Stone Mothers, by Erin Kelly 1 7 Aug 07, 2019 12:17AM  

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Erin Kelly was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since 1998.

She has written for newspapers including the The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Express and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan.

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“When Jesse started to cry, I found that I'd been expecting it. I know a breakdown when I see one. In the kitchenette behind me, my phone flashed into life, but I knew the importance of what Dr. Adil calls full-body listening when someone is trying to unburden. You take your attention away at the wrong moment, you even mistime your blinks, and the trust is gone.” 0 likes
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