A Mother's Worst Nightmare
I listened to Little Darlings by Melanie Golding on audio CD read by Stephanie Racine and by the author herself. The story kept me engaged the entire time. Each chapter was introduced with a disturbing quote from fairy folklore about twins. Melanie Golding's Little Darlings brought any mother's worst nightmare to life.
As the story began, Lauren Tranter, a happily married woman to Patrick Tranter, was giving birth to twin boys. The couple decided to name their sons Morgan and Riley. Lauren experienced some complications after the birth of her twins and therefore had to remain in the hospital a little longer than usual. With little support from her husband or hospital staff, Lauren found herself exhausted taking care of and nursing her twin boys. It was no wonder Lauren was soon showing signs of postpartum depression. She was completely overwhelmed with her new role as mother to twins. One night, while still recovering at the hospital, Lauren hears a strange and creepy voice singing a frightening song. Lauren is greeted by a haggard looking woman who has a basket full of rags and what she calls her babies. These babies are more like creatures, though. The woman threatened to take Lauren's babies and exchange them with hers. The woman promised she would do it, if not today sometime soon when Lauren was not expecting it. Lauren was so frightened she ran to the bathroom where she locked herself in and called the police. The only problem was that no one believed Lauren's story, not even her husband. From that point on Lauren became so paranoid about leaving Morgan and Riley alone for even a minute. She did not trust herself to leave her house, when she finally got home, in fear of having her babies taken from her by that hideous woman.
After much time, Patrick convinced Lauren to take Morgan and Riley out of the house to meet her friends. Lauren had a pleasant time with her friends who had also recently become young mothers. On the way home, Lauren became so tired so decided to have a rest on a park bench. Not meaning to, Lauren fell asleep and when she woke up her babies were missing. Her worst nightmare had actually happened. She just knew that that horrid woman from the hospital had taken Morgan and Riley. The police were called to help investigate the kidnapping. DS Jo Harper, who had been on the case from the first incident in the hospital, was called to help look for the babies. It was Jo Harper who found Morgan and Riley. Were they Morgan and Riley, though? Lauren believed that her babies had been taken and replaced with that woman's creatures. The woman had vowed to make her babies look just like Morgan and Riley. Lauren knew they were not her babies and she knew what she must do to get her babies back. Her problem was that she was confined to a psychological unit for observation. When Lauren screamed and carried on about the fact that those babies they found were not hers, everyone thought she was crazy. That included her husband as well.
Little Darlings was not my usual genre but I did enjoy it. I felt it ended a little abruptly, though. I do recommend Little Darlings by Melanie Golding.