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Stone Mothers

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  335 ratings  ·  197 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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  335 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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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
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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)
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
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.
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
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
‘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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
I'm going to put this one on the backburner for now, but will return back to it when the time is right.
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
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
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.
How far would you go to protect your secrets and your family? Three lives down different paths with one dark secret. Nearly thirty years later, it could all come to light and three individuals responsible each have their own demons to confront.

I received an advanced read copy of this novel and was all but jumping to get into it as I tend to steer towards thrillers and suspense. The first part of the book was really slow. The drama thats going on doesn't have the same impact because you have n

With thanks to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

I was excited to read Stone Mothers after reading Erin Kelly`s last book He Said She Said.

Marianne had grown up in the small town of Nusstead in Suffolk. She lived with her single mother and little sister Collette. At the time the main source of employment in the area was Nazareth Hospital (the local lunatic asylum as it was known).

Marianne met her first love Jesse at school when they were bo
Tiffany Foskey
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow!!!!!! Loved this book!! It is just as suspenseful as He Said She Said if not better. Marianne's husband thinks he's buying them a lovely getaway home but he doesn't know a clue about what memories that place hold for his wife. Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for my honest review
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I started Stone Mothers I wasn’t sure what to expect. Erin Kelly always manages to give the reader something different. What I got was a novel based around an asylum in Suffolk. It was one of those books that could have been set anywhere. The old asylums/hospitals were in many towns and their closures would have had the same impact that the closure of Nazareth had on the local community.
It takes a while to get to the horror of what happened in the asylum. The novel was one I struggled to pu
Olga Fry
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m so glad I was able to get my hands on this ARC of “Stone Mothers” by Erin Kelly. Even though Marianne thought that what happened at Nazareth Mental Hospital was long buried in her past, all it takes is one gesture from her husband to bring it to the surface. Some things don’t stay buried forever.

I really liked this book but I don’t know if the different sections of time and character point of views worked for me. It felt jumpy and I wondered if there was a way to have streamlined it more eff
Shannon (The Book Club Mom)
Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly is full of so many secrets and so much mystery. The novel is centered around Marianne’s life and the steps she takes in order to protect her family from a dark secret of her past. I was completely engaged in the entire story and consistently surprised by each turn of events. I especially loved the structure of this novel. I enjoyed all of the different view points over various time periods and the short chapters. There was a lot going on, but it flowed very nicely. Lo ...more
Claire Wilson
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Stone Mothers is another great read by Erin Kelly. Marianne escaped from her village at seventeen, taking with her a secret. Thirty years later, she is married with a daughter. But when her mother takes a turn for the worse, Marianne moves back to the village to care for her, willing to do anything to protect her family from the secret that has haunted her for 30 years.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A slower paced thriller than I'm used to but still very good. Stone mothers is a phrase used in victorian time for Asylums and this book is set around an Asylum.
Marieann moved out of her home time to get away from a past she didn't want to remember. Years later unbeknown to her, her husbands buys a second home in the now renovated plot where the Asylum once was. Heading back to her hometown throws up all sorts of memories she can now not run away from.
Written over three timelines this thriller
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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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