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Stone Mothers

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3.70  ·  Rating details ·  666 ratings  ·  273 reviews
Erin Kelly, master of suspense, returns with her next thrilling standalone featuring an abandoned mental asylum and the secrets it holds.

Marianne was never supposed to return to town, the town where she grew up in the shadow of the Nazareth Mental Hospital. Her mother may be suffering from dementia nearby, but she had thought she'd left that place, and its dark secrets, b
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Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by Minotaur Books (first published April 4th 2019)
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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  666 ratings  ·  273 reviews


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Meredith
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 boyfri
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Kaceey
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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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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marilyn
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Ova - Excuse My Reading
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)
Berit☀️✨
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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Brenda - Traveling Sister
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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Liz Barnsley
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
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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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.
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. When
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Carrie
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 (Stephanie's Novel Fiction)
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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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
Frank Phillips
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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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 a novel that never quite reaches its full potential.
First, on what I liked.
I found the discourse on class and money (the way it can change you in ways that you might not be aware) to be very compelling. We see how money can distance yo
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ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
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 writ
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Helen Power
I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway.

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 coming soon.
Jamie
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
KC
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, suspense, thriller, crime
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.
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!
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
Dennis
I'm going to put this one on the backburner for now, but will return back to it when the time is right.
Leah
Apr 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, 2019
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.
Kate Vocke
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Ohhh boy do I like me a good book about a mental hospital! It's fascinating and terrifying all the same time what people back in the day were locked up for - for being "insane". Things like laziness, or domestic troubles, even masturbation and jealousy. I went into this book thinking it was going to be one of those thrillers set in a mental hospital with crazy women screaming and frothing at the mouth, fast paced lunacy and hysteria... I mean - perfection in my book! But it wasn't that. BUT - we ...more
Joanne Robertson
Erin Kelly is one of those authors who I will preorder books from without even reading the blurb. I was lucky enough to get a very early copy of Stone Mothers and actually started reading it without knowing anything about the plot beforehand (yes I was THAT desperate to get stuck in!!) And in a way I’m very glad that I chose to do so as it meant I had no preconceived ideas of what to expect from the storyline. It also meant that the slowly developed plot was able to keep me fully engaged as I re ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of STONE MOTHERS by Erin Kelly in exchange for my honest review.***

Past and present collide when Marianne returns home to help care for her ailing mother. She never expects her husband to surprise her with a second home on the grounds of a former asylum that holds secrets from Marianne’s past.

STONE MOTHERS didn’t grab me the way I had hoped and I had difficulty getting into the complex backstory. Part of the reason may have been the q
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Lisa
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: april-2019
Thank you St Martin’s Press and Netgalley for a copy of Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly for an honest review. Available now.

I’m not sure that overall Stone Mothers was a book for me. I liked the unique take on storytelling, from modern day Marianne alluding to events of the past and then switching to her view from her youth and then back to Helen for her part of the whole scheme. But honestly I felt like half the book was hinting at a crime and by the time we got to the truth of it, I was underwhelm
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Marc Bougharios
3.5 stars

Marianne and her husband move into a building (that was an asylum before). But she knows this asylum. Not because she used to live in the city. But because her secrets are buried there.

My favorite thing about this novel would have to be the timeline and the way it is told. It it narrated in the present when Marianne and her husbnad are moving into the building, then we go back in time to when Marriane and Jesse were younger, then we go even deeper in time where we learn and Helen and h
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Courtney~
I could not get into this book and found it very lack luster. The beginning was very slow and it wasn't until 25% of the way through that it picked up. By picked up, I mean it went from a slow shuffle to a walk. Overall, very slow paced and not what I would consider a thriller. The historical perspective on mental health in the 50's was however interesting.
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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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