Who would you trust with your precious family?
Wanted: full-time, live-in help for expectant mother. Must be organised, friendly and willing to do anything.
Rachel is determined to be the perfect mother. She has a birth plan, with a playlist and a bag ready by the door. She’s chosen a lovely light cream paint for the nursery, and in wide-eyed, innocent Abbie she’s found the perfect person to help her with her baby.
After all, every mother needs a bit of help, don’t they?
But Rachel needs a little more than most.
She still makes sure her bedroom door is locked before she goes to sleep. She still checks the cameras that are dotted throughout the house.
Rachel trusts Abbie. Even if Abbie’s smiles don’t always reach her eyes, and the stories she tells about her past don’t always add up, it doesn’t matter.
Because Rachel knows better than to trust herself…
Book Information: Print Length: 405 pages. Publisher: Bookouture. Publication Date: 12 October 2021
I absolutely LOVED Julia Crouch’s previous book Her Husband’s Lover and even popped it into my Top Ten Books of 2016 so I was thrilled to see that after a long absence, she has come back with a new publishing deal with Bookouture and a stunning psychological thriller called The New Mother which is being published on 12th October. When Julia messaged me recently to explain her absence and ask if I would be on the blogtour it was an easy and absolute YES please from me.
The New Mother is a very twisty and utterly addictive story told by two female narrators and within moments of meeting both Rachel (RR) and Abbie, my spidy sense was telling me something was “off” with one or them or perhaps even both of them. This is one of the books that you spend the entire time reading with your heart beating faster, your sphincter muscles clenched tighter and a huge ball of dread rolling around your stomach.
Rachel is an influencer, now in her mid 30’s with a following of millions she has decided to have a baby. However, the fact she’s single reduces the odds in her getting pregnant in the old fashioned way, so she uses a sperm donor. Now pregnant, alone and living in an isolated house Rachel decides to “advertise” on her Instagram page for a “Mother’s Helper”, someone to live in and help her during the latter stages of her pregnancy and when the baby “beansprout” arrives.
Enter Abbie, Rachel’s SELF CONFESSED NUMBER ONE FAN, who despite not quite fitting the requirements of the job, manages to blag her way into Rachel’s life and home and very quickly starts to take over Rachel’s life.
It’s pretty obvious to me that one of these women is unhinged, but which one? Well I can honestly say that my opinions were going back and forth, back and forth throughout the book. With both women hiding secrets from their past, it was difficult to work out which of them was the unreliable narrator and which one was the victim.
I’m not going to say much more about this book, except to say “WELCOME BACK Julia Crouch, we missed you” and readers of twisty, clever and totally addictive storylines will love this book.
For more on Julia’s absence from writing – have a listen to this: https://www.rlf.org.uk/showcase/julia-crouch-wbl/
About the Author:
Julia Crouch grew up in Cambridge and studied Drama at Bristol University. She spent ten years working as a theatre director and playwright, then, after a spell of teaching, she somehow became a successful graphic and website designer, a career she followed for another decade while raising her three children. An MA in sequential illustration re-awoke her love of narrative and a couple of Open University creative writing courses brought it to the fore.
Cuckoo, her first novel, emerged as a very rough draft during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2008. A year’s editing got it ready for submission to an agent and within a couple of months she had a book deal with Headline and had given up the day job.
Every Vow You Break, her second novel, was published in March 2012, Tarnished, her third, came out in 2013, followed by Every Vow You Break in 2014, Her Husband’s Lover in 2017 and Mother’s Helper in 2021. She is also published in Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Brazil, China and Ukraine.
Unable to find a sub-genre of crime writing that neatly described her work, she came up with the term Domestic Noir, which is now widely accepted as the label for one of the most popular crime genres today. She has even written a foreword to a book of academic essays on the subject.
She works in a shed at the bottom of the Brighton house she shares with her husband, the actor and playwright Tim Crouch, their three children, two cats called Keith and Sandra, a dog called Uncle, and about twelve guitars (you can find #Keith, who has his own hashtag, on twitter). She is a self-confessed geek and fights a daily battle to resist tinkering with the code on her website, which can be found at www.juliacrouch.co.uk.