Saturday, September 2, 2023

Just Like Mother (Anne Heltzel)

The creepy doll face on Anne Heltzel's Just Like Mother tells you all you need to know about what's inside these pages. This is a disturbing, spine-chilling story for the most part, but falls flat in some places.

Maeve and Andrea are close cousins who grew up in a cult run by "mothers." After Maeve escapes, she is adopted by a loving family and tries to have a normal life. She always wonders, however, what happened to her cousin. When they're both adults, Maeve is happy when Andrea finally contacts her. Andrea is a wealthy woman who made her money in the fertility industry. But childhood memories run deep -- this book doesn't have the aforementioned creepy doll face on the cover for no reason. 

While the story itself was horror personified, I felt it didn't go deeply enough into the cult aspect. Who were the mothers? What was the purpose of Boy? There were a lot of questions that left me wondering. 

That being said, it's been a long time since I actually gasped while reading a book, but Just Like Mother made me do so in many places. It's scary, and above all, one could see a story like this happening in real life (but let's hope not).