Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage ISBN: 9781250170750 (hardcover) ISBN: 9781250170774 (ebook) ASIN: B076ZTC4GQ (Kindle edition) Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Release Date: July 17, 2018
Sweetness can be deceptive.
She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.
She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.
Suzette and Axel had an idyllic relationship. They met, fell in love, married, and looked forward to beginning a family. Even with Suzette’s medical problems, they were excited about having their child and initially Hanna was everything they could have imagined. She was a healthy and happy child. But then she never talked. They took her for various testing to ensure there was nothing physiologically wrong with her and were assured that nothing was wrong. Then Suzette enrolled Hanna in kindergarten. She was asked to leave after only days there. Suzette homeschooled Hanna and saw a side of her daughter than Axel never saw, but she wasn’t afraid of her. Then Hanna turned six and they tried to enroll her in first grade. Hanna was once again asked to leave the school and, once again, Suzette was back to homeschooling her daughter. Suzette knew that Hanna was incredibly intelligent. Her daughter could read, write, and do math beyond her grade level. The only thing Hanna couldn’t do was talk. Now Hanna is seven years old and Suzette is recovering from another surgery to help with her Crohn’s disease. Suzette knows that Axel will never be able to see Hanna the same way she does, but she’s hopeful that perhaps this is the year that Hanna can transition to school. But then Hanna does begin talking only not as Hanna and the things she says can only be taken as threats, threats to Suzette’s welfare. When Hanna is expelled from a third and then a fourth school in less then three years, Suzette takes the advice of specialists at the schools and makes an appointment to see a child psychologist. Her only hope is that this psychologist will be able to provide help before serious injuries occur.
We’re all raised to think that little girls and boys are cute and innocent. Little girls are supposed to be made of “sugar and spice and everything nice.” Hanna is not that child, by any stretch of the imagination, although she presents as sweetness and love to her father. Hanna is a child with a severe case of the Electra complex, meaning she’s in love with her father and wants to kill her mother so she and her father can live happily ever after. If that doesn’t scare you, think about this, a seven-year-old child is devious enough to think of ways to kill her mother and even tries a few. I found Baby Teeth to be an engrossing read but perhaps not one for the faint of heart. This twisted tale is told in the alternating voices of Suzette and Hanna, and I was disheartened reading about everything Hanna did from Suzette’s perspective and downright chilled to read about it from Hanna’s perspective. Ms. Stage has crafted characters and scenarios that are not only plausible but spine-chilling. Once I started reading Baby Teeth I couldn’t put it down (yes, it was just that good). I enjoyed the characters, the action, and the settings. If you’re looking for a thrilling read this summer, look no further and grab a copy of Baby Teeth to read. Baby Teeth is going to be one of my must-read recommendations for this year. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Stage in the future.
I'm a reader, an avid reader, or perhaps a rabid reader (at least according to my family). I enjoy reading from a variety of different genres but particularly enjoy fiction, mystery, suspense, thrillers, ChickLit, romance and classics. I also enjoy reading about numerous non-fiction subjects including aromatherapy, comparative religions, herbalism, naturopathic medicine, and tea.
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