Children. They can be a blessing or a complete nightmare, depending on who you ask. In Zoje Stage’s novel, Baby Teeth, little Hanna is the demon that keeps on giving.
There have been so many books and films about horrible children. The Bad Seed, The Omen, The Good Son, Children of the Corn. But damn if Baby Teeth doesn’t almost top them all (Damien is still Numero Uno when it comes to horrible kids). Hanna, the demon spawn of the story, is a precocious, beautiful seven-year-old who does not, or will not, speak. She is home schooled by her almost-to-the-breaking-point mother, Suzette, who has to deal with Hanna’s increasingly frightening behavior all on her own.
Trust me when I tell you that Baby Teeth is going to really rile you up at every turn. I had so many feelings, none of them good, while reading an advanced copy of this novel. I found myself getting angry, frustrated, annoyed and just plain pissed off. Hanna is awful, terrible, frightening, manipulative, brilliant and monstrous. But only around her mother or when she’s at whatever school she’s attending at the moment. Her maddeningly clueless father, Alex, sees the side of Hanna that helps her get away with pretty much everything: she’s smiley, sweet, mindful and precious. I wanted to strangle her.
Baby Teeth is going to be the book that gets everyone talking about what it means to be a parent. Suzette expresses thoughts that many mothers will relate to and some of those thoughts will stir some controversy. I was lucky. My kid was a joy to raise and I had no major problems with her as she grew up. But what of the mothers who don’t have it so easy? Mothers with terrible or dangerous children? What goes through their minds when they look at their child? Baby Teeth delves into those questions and much, much more. Be ready.
Baby Teeth drops on July 17, 2018. Make sure to pre-order a copy today. I am definitely looking forward to reading the finished version.
I received an advanced copy of this title from Netgalley.