Lauren has just given birth to twin boys Morgan and Riley, and while there isn’t that insta-love that all the books talk about, she does grow to love them, immensely. Alone in the hospital with her boys, Lauren sees a vicious woman who threatens to take her boys, to steal them and replace them with look-a-likes. While she did everything she could, no one is taking her concerns seriously. Her anxiousness is made worse when she discovers someone had given her a folklore book that centers around mothers and their twin children.
Lauren is a good mother but her job is made much harder in the fact she is essentially doing it all on her own. Her husband, claiming the need for sleep because of how often he works has chosen to “tap” out of child-rearing and even Lauren says “…there’d been signs that he wasn’t a natural caregiver”. If only she could get some sleep, her days would be easier. If only her husband would help, she would be able to manage. If only…
But Lauren’s fears are getting worse. Someone has been watching her, someone has been at her window, looking in at her and her boys. Unable to leave the house for fear that the woman will steal her sons, her husband is getting impatient with her. He’s shooed off the Jo, the officer who was trying to help Lauren and she feels even more alone. After her husbands urging, she finally does get out for a walk only for it to turn horribly wrong. The boys are missing and her worst fears have come true.
Little Darlings is infused with lore from a multitude of places. A new mother reading such stories would be horrified so it helps to express Lauren’s fear of the children being replaced. Her husband Patrick was awful. He was selfish and sneaky, only caring for his sons when it suited him. He treated Lauren like dirt and I kept hoping she would leave him. I appreciated Jo’s persistence in helping Lauren and found myself incredibly frustrated with the police department who would not take Jo seriously. My frustration at some characters is a great example of how well Golding wrote those characters.
While I felt I had some inkling of what was going on, Golding added a few surprises that were a nice mix. New moms don’t have it easy, and a lot of them suffer from postpartum and Golding did a great job at hinting the possibility without saying it. I felt for Lauren who wanted nothing more than protect her sons. Little Darlings was a well-written, easy and quick read, with suspense and a hint of fantasy in the lore she used. An enjoyable read.