Meredith's Reviews > Stone Mothers

Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly
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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 boyfriend, bad boy Jesse, commit a crime that will haunt them for the remainder of their lives.

1958: Helen Morris commits a crime in the eyes of society and is sentenced to be treated at The East Anglia Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

Told through the eyes of Marianne, Helen, and Honor, Stone Mothers offers an interesting take on the history of the Victorian mental asylum.

The beginning of the novel moves at a very slow pace but gradually builds. I was ready to give up, but then at the 30% mark things finally started to get interesting with the transition to 1988 and Marianne’s past.

In addition to different POV's, Stone Mothers is also split into different timelines. I loved the narrative structure and change in timelines. Helen’s character and the story were the most fascinating! I would have liked to spend more time with her character. At the same time, I could have done without Honor’s take on events.

This is a slow, but fascinating read about Victorian mental hospitals. Helen’s chapter is riveting and serves as an interesting commentary on how mental health was regarded and treated in the past. However, as a whole, I was confused on what this book was trying to be: thriller, social commentary, an ode to motherhood and female friendship? In the end, the message got muddled and the plot fizzled out.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

January 19, 2019 – Shelved
January 19, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
April 15, 2019 – Started Reading
April 15, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley
April 20, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 64 (64 new)


message 1: by Dita (new)

Dita Very, very balanced and intriguing review!


message 2: by Mary (new)

Mary S. R. Great review hun ❤ slow starts are a curse!


Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* Terrific review, Meredith! This one looks like it has several flaws. Too bad it fizzled out in the end. Glad you enjoyed some parts of it. Hope your next one is fantastic. 💚


message 4: by Fran (new)

Fran Awesome review, Meredith!


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie Excellent review, Meredith! Sorry it fizzled out.


message 6: by Paula (new)

Paula Kalin Yes!


Meredith Dita wrote: "Very, very balanced and intriguing review!"

Thank you so much, Dita!


Meredith Mary wrote: "Great review hun ❤ slow starts are a curse!"

Thank you, Mary! They sure are!


Meredith Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* wrote: "Terrific review, Meredith! This one looks like it has several flaws. Too bad it fizzled out in the end. Glad you enjoyed some parts of it. Hope your next one is fantastic. 💚"

Thank you, Mary Beth! The book I am reading now is much more enjoyable!


message 10: by Kendall (new) - added it

Kendall Fabulous review Meredith! I thought this was very very slow too. Wasn’t really my cup of tea :/.


message 11: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Langford Fantastic review Meredith! The quote you use has me intrigued !


message 12: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Smith Nice review Meredith I still haven't read her first one. 🐣🐰


message 13: by JanB (new)

JanB Meredith, sometimes hanging in there with a book and givng it time to develop takes off. I'm glad you enjoyed it, it sounds fascinating! 😊


message 14: by JV (semi-hiatus) (new)

JV (semi-hiatus) Wonderfully reviewed, dear Meredith! 💖


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Sorry it was muddled hun. It sounds good at any rate 😊💕🌸


message 16: by Maureen (new)

Maureen That’s a very honest and interesting review Meredith! 🤗💕


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader I’m reading this now, Meredith, so I skimmed your review. I’m finding it so fascinating, and I love the slow burn! I’ll come back and read the rest of your terrific review when I finish! ♥️


Kaceey Excellent review Meredith! I really enjoyed Helens part of the story too!


marilyn Great review Meredith!


message 20: by KAS (new)

KAS Wonderful review, Meredith!! Sorry it fizzled out though for you :( 🌷💚🌷


message 21: by Lisa (new)

Lisa I always thought that if a person wasn't mentally disturbed when they went into one of these insane asylum's then I'm short order they probably would be. Good review!


Meredith Fran wrote: "Awesome review, Meredith!"

Thank you so much, Fran!


Meredith Julie wrote: "Excellent review, Meredith! Sorry it fizzled out."

Thank you, Julie!


message 24: by Holly (new)

Holly  B Great review Meredith! Thanks


message 25: by Jess☺️ (new)

Jess☺️ Great review Meredith!! I hope you enjoy your book a lot more 🐥


message 26: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle Excellent review, Meredith! 💖


Brenda - Traveling Sister Wonderful review, Meredith!


message 28: by Kat (new)

Kat Valentine Awesome review Meredith!💖😉


Meredith Kendall wrote: "Fabulous review Meredith! I thought this was very very slow too. Wasn’t really my cup of tea :/."

Thank you, Kendall! I get why it didn't work for you--it's a tough one to like!


Meredith Lucy wrote: "Fantastic review Meredith! The quote you use has me intrigued !"

Thank you, Lucy! There are many intriguing moments!


Meredith Miriam wrote: "Nice review Meredith I still haven't read her first one. 🐣🐰"

Thank you, Miriam! I really enjoyed He Said/She Said


message 32: by jendlo (new)

jendlo I felt that way about the pacing of He Said/She Said, and this one didn't even sound interesting. But your review was, so thank you for it!


message 33: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Masterson Fantastic review, Meredith! :)


message 34: by Cheri (new)

Cheri Terrific review, Meredith, love your honest assessment of this story!


message 35: by Beata (new)

Beata Great review, Meredith :)) The topic does sound interesting to me ....


Jaline - (on 2/3 hiatus) Terrific review, Meredith, and thank you for adding your insights on your experience of this book! :)


Meredith JanB wrote: "Meredith, sometimes hanging in there with a book and givng it time to develop takes off. I'm glad you enjoyed it, it sounds fascinating! 😊"

Thank you, Jan!


Meredith JV ❄️☃️❄️ wrote: "Wonderfully reviewed, dear Meredith! 💖"

Thank you so much, JV!


Meredith Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ wrote: "Sorry it was muddled hun. It sounds good at any rate 😊💕🌸"

Thank you, Melissa!


Daniela Trivino Wow, your comments on both Helen and Honor’s parts echoed exactly what I was thinking, as I’ve just finished the book moments ago. I completely agree.


message 41: by Marialyce (new)

Marialyce Sounds like quite an interesting premise but sorry it was somewhat disappointing, Meredith. Not sure if I will take this book on.


Meredith Maureen wrote: "That’s a very honest and interesting review Meredith! 🤗💕"

Thank you, Maureen!


Meredith Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader wrote: "I’m reading this now, Meredith, so I skimmed your review. I’m finding it so fascinating, and I love the slow burn! I’ll come back and read the rest of your terrific review when I finish! ♥️"

Thank you, Jennifer! I hope you enjoy!


Meredith Kaceey wrote: "Excellent review Meredith! I really enjoyed Helens part of the story too!"

Thank you, Kaceey!


Meredith marilyn wrote: "Great review Meredith!"

Thank you so much, Marilyn!


Susanne  Strong Fantastic review Meredith! I so agree with you about Helen's character and her story! My favorite.


Meredith KAS wrote: "Wonderful review, Meredith!! Sorry it fizzled out though for you :( 🌷💚🌷"

Thank you, KAS!


message 48: by Felicia (new)

Felicia Ooohhhh intriguing review, Meredith 💖 sounds like an interesting plot at least.


Meredith Lisa wrote: "I always thought that if a person wasn't mentally disturbed when they went into one of these insane asylum's then I'm short order they probably would be. Good review!"

Thank you, Lisa!


Meredith Holly wrote: "Great review Meredith! Thanks"

Thank you, Holly!


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