Mummy's Little Secret, M.A. Hunter: A Review
The blurb for this book sounded really good. As a mother of young kids, I found myself instantly drawn to this high-stakes premise, so I was happy to pre-approved and quickly dove in.
As Jess watches her daughter on the playground, another young girl approaches her with a distressing statement: she's not my mum. Convinced the little girl is in danger, Jess introduces herself to Morag, her alleged mother, and is determined to get to find the truth about Daisy.
I liked this book.
Jess was an interesting character. I appreciated her shifting emotions regarding her accident, the sudden, unexpected paralysis and learning to adjust to the wheelchair. I found her anxiety to be grounded and realistic and the traumatic memories of childbirth really struck a note. Her suspicion of Morag, too, really drove the suspense, and the overall structure worked well. The chapters with the detectives were probably my favorite, but I found Jess and Morag to be compelling.
There were some things that missed the mark. Birth trauma is a sensitive subject for many women, so I might have included a content warning because the nature of Jess' accident is quite traumatic. I had complications from my first epidural carry over into my second birth, and reading about this definitely was a gut-punch.
My main snag was Jess' interest in Daisy and Morag. The huge assumption that Daisy must be in danger because Morag was too old to be Daisy's mother felt both rushed and invasive. Adoptive parents, grandparents, surrogates--there were countless explanations for Daisy's comment and their relationship, and the way that Jess locked down required me to suspend my disbelief. I had a difficult time imagining a scenario where I would be that fixated on a situation while simultaneously not wanting to know anything about the family. It was an odd level of infatuation and avoidance that was, I guess partly explained away by the events that happened pre-accident. No spoilers, of course, but it felt a bit shaky and I wanted more of a catalyst for her involvement.
That being said, I enjoyed most of the investigation, even if I had the conclusion pegged pretty early on. I think many readers will find the story entertaining and tense.
Overall, Mummy's Little Secret is a fun, quick read that will leave you second-guessing those other parents at the playground.
Big thanks to One More Chapter and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.