Did anyone else sing the title of this book to the tune of Baby Shark? No? Just me then.
Despite my knowledge of kid-friendly ear worms, I do not actually have any kids. This book essentially validated that decision as it told the story of Hannah. She is seven years old and non-verbal but otherwise very intelligent. She’s the absolute apple of her father’s eye and she loves her father even more. However, her mother Suzette, who spends all day at home with Hannah homeschooling her sees something more sinister. It doesn’t take the reader long to figure out that Suzette’s suspicions are correct. Hannah is a budding psychopath who would love nothing more than to have Daddy all to herself and Mommy out of the way permanently.
There is a constant low level of tension running through this book as we alternate between Suzette’s and Hannah’s points of view. Suzette suffers from Crohn’s disease and truly wants to be a good mother to Hannah despite hear fear and resentment. Hannah is extremely smart but not unrealistically so. The father is clueless with regards to his dysfunctional home life but not as willfully blind as some dads in these “bad seed” stories (Raymond from We Need to Talk About Kevin, I’m looking at you!). I saw one Goodreads reviewer complain that nothing happens in this story and while I think that’s externally true the back and forth between Suzette and Hannah is subtle and extremely stressful for those who like a good psychological drama.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a smartly written, psychological suspense novel that is reasonably grounded in reality. Though maybe keep it on the shelf if you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming so.