book review

Mothered by Zoje Stage

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Publication Date: March 1, 2023

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Pages: 318

Genre: Horror, Psychological

Rating: 4/5

Mothered is a psychological horror set during the early days of Covid. Grace is a hairdresser who is having a hard time finding work so she reluctantly agrees to let her recently widowed mother, Jackie, move in with her. Grace and Jackie have a lifelong estranged relationship that was further devasted by the death of Grace’s twin sister who had Cerebral Palsy. Upon moving in, Jackie and Grace try to mend their relationship but secrets and the recent nightmares Grace has been having lead to everything spiraling out of control. 

The addition of Covid added an ominous layer to the story. The isolation and stress of the pandemic on top of the drama and toxicity of Jackie and Grace’s relationship created an intensely claustrophobic feeling. The pacing of everything was so well done that I found myself constantly thinking about this book. I’ve even found myself weeks later thinking about Grace which is probably because she and her world felt so realistic and chilling.  

The prologue of this story was a great addition because it added a cloud of suspense over everything. We know from the beginning that something catastrophic happens between Grace and Jackie which we are slowly building to. I was constantly trying to guess what was going to happen next and who did what to who. The story was cleverly done and I loved being fully immersed in this creepy and deeply unsettling world.  

If you think you can handle a story with heavy Covid elements than I highly recommend this book. It perfectly blends the horror of the pandemic with the horror of what is happening in the story. I love the psychological horror genre and I will definitely be seeking out more from Zoje Stage in the future. 


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