Sunday, February 25, 2018
BABY TEETH (2018) by Zoje Stage
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Zoje Stage hits a home run with her debut novel, "Baby Teeth", on sale July 17, 2018. A psychological thriller told from alternating perspectives of seven year old Hanna and her mother Suzette.
FIRST SENTENCE: "Maybe the machine could see the words she never spoke."
THE STORY: Hanna does not talk but she is not stupid. She loves her Daddy, but not her Mommy. Daddy thinks she is perfect. Mommy knows there is something wrong.
WHAT I THOUGHT: When I was a teenager in the 50s, I remember reading and being shocked by The Bad Seed. It was the story of a perfect little girl named Rhoda, who got whatever she wanted one way or another. Her Daddy thought she was perfect but her mother started to suspect things. It became a popular play and then a movie. The other scary book I remember from that time is Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby. It came out in in the 60s and I read it in the middle of the night while I was breast feeding my first child. Some memories haunt you. I've added Baby Teeth to my unforgettable list.
I enjoyed the fact that the book was set in Pittsburgh and recognized locations and allusions. Suzette has Crohn's disease, which complicates her ability to deal with Hanna. She doesn't have the energy and feels guilty for not being perfect.
BOTTOM LINE: Not everyone will appreciate this story. It is disturbing but so well done that the reader keeps turning pages to see what will happen. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (July 17, 2018)
DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-copy of Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage from NetGalley/St. Martin's for my honest review.
ZOJE STAGE is a writer and former filmmaker. She was a 2008 Fellow in Screenwriting from the New York Foundation of the Arts and a 2012 Emerging Storytellers Fellow from the Independent Filmmaker Project. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Baby Teeth is her first novel.(from AMAZON)