Children’s book author Alison O’Conner is a loving wife and mother of two. She’s put together a picture-perfect life all to distance herself from her abusive mother, Mavis. That is until her mother is diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and has requested to come live with Alison and her family. But with the arrival of Mavis in the O’Conner’s home, strange things start to happen which leaves Alison wondering if her mother is not who she says she is.
I always enjoy a good Jennifer McMahon book and was a great one to start spooky season with. From the first pages you can feel the tense and are immediately sucked into the eerie atmosphere.
Told from Alison’s perspective, it alternates between flashbacks to her childhood and the present day. I immediately liked our main character because we share a name. While it has nothing to do with the story, the name connection always just gets me.
The complex mother-daughter relationship was well crafted. At first, I thought I might not be up for this story. The first chapters have some references to potential violence against a child and I’m just not in a place to be able to read about that currently. But I liked the way McMahon more or less alluded to topic without getting too graphic or utilizing it unnecessarily. It does play a pivotal role in the plot though. Outside of this, McMahon has captured how childhood trauma impacts our adult lives while also demonstrating the intricates of the mother-daughter relationship.
If you’re looking for a page turning paranormal, character driven, horror story, then My Darling Girl is the perfect addition to your fall TBR.
My Darling Girl comes out October 3, 2023. Huge thank you to Gallery/Scout Press for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof.books.