Cover Image: Mothered


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Member Reviews

First of all, I’m a huge Zoje Stage fan. No matter what she writes, it’s un-put-downable to me. There are fantastical dream sequences which can be confusing, but we were all a bit nuts during the beginning months of COVID quarantine. I will always think of nightmares as “dreamtime quicksand” as Zoje referred to them. I’m left contemplating what else was contagious in addition to COVID in this story. Leave it to this author to give readers more to think about after they’ve finished.

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Author Zoje Stage has an easy way of writing. Her smooth style makes Mothered an easy read, even with its dark and edgy content. Grace is the surviving twin who finds herself riding out the Covid pandemic living with her difficult mother, Jackie, in western Pennsylvania. Her life is falling apart with the loss of her job, a new home with a mortgage, and her BFF, a gay boy-pal Miguel being hospitalized with the virus.

As the story unfolds we learn about the dark underbelly of family dynamics. Her twin sister, Hope, died in late childhood as a result of birth defects. The relationship between the sisters was strained due to Jackie leaving the caretaking in the hands of Grace while she worked. The burden of caring for her sister left Hope with a jaded childhood at best. The reader also learns that Hope is an internet catfish who, with good intentions, has a bevy of damsels that she gives life advice to in the guise of a male hero archetype.

The author has created a dreamscape (dream-escape?) for Hope and the reader never knows, chapter by chapter, if the story unfolding is real or one of the series of Freudian schemas.

I found this book entertaining and well written. I wish the catfish story line had been more fleshed out as, to me this was an integral part of Hope’s psyche that was never truly taken advantage of. I’d recommend this book as a great #SummerRead.
#NetGalley #Motherded # ZojeStage

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Oh man, I was so hoping to love this book, but the dreams were so repetitive that it really lost me. I kept waiting for things to pick up or for the pace to switch up and become darker but it didn't really change until the very end.

This is my first time reading this author and I will definitely check out her other books. This story just wasn't for me.

As a matter of fact, I probably would have preferred to have read in the POV of Silas. He seems like a fascinating character.

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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from Thomas & Mercer and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.

The relationship between a mother and daughter always has it's complications, "Mothered" takes it to a new level. Intriguing, full of mystery and suspense. I didn't put it down.

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I felt like this book had so much more potential. There were moments where Stage articulated feelings myself and many others felt during the first stages of pandemic lock downs in 2020. But I also felt like it went on far longer than it needed with a lackluster ending. There was no real answer to the book’s questions and not even enough information for the reader to interpret their own hypotheses. The confusion and unreliable narrator trope of whether or not Grace was awake or dreaming started getting redundant. I was overall confused the whole time and not in a good way. This book is classified as horror and I would say it’s more of a psychological thriller with only a tad bit of horror in some scenes.

NetGally ARC

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I can not say enough about this book! I gave it 5 stars but it needs 10! Zoje Stage knows how to write a captivating, suspenseful and thrilling tale. It keeps you hooked even when you should not be reading! I highly recommend this author and this book!

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What in the what did I just read?? I started this early this morning and have not moved until the afternoon finishing this. What a mind trip this book is. It has weird dreams, catfishing, mental illness, grief, sibling rivalry and so much more. I think the best part of this book was the confusion I had while reading it. That may sound strange, but it was NOT predictable in the least. From one sentence to another my mouth would just fall open from the shock of what I was absorbing. Mom moves in with daughter, daughter lost her twin sister as a child, daughter starts seeing dismembered doll heads, becomes a paper doll, seeing her dead sister around and not knowing what is reality and what is a dream. Did she actually kill her own twin? Will her mother survive this crazy ride. Oh, and it’s all during lockdown from the pandemic. Amazing! I give this a solid 4.5 stars! Do not miss this. If you like being kept on your toes throughout an entire read, being shocked several times, and a lot of twisted and creepy feelings, read it!!!
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the e-read ARC of this book. Publication Date is 2/14/23!

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Wow. Such a great story. Is it sad to say I can relate a bit? To the emotions, the anger. These characters were flawed, yet human, took those way beyond extremes. I love Zoje Stage and will read anything she writes. She a great writer. Look forward to so much more.

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This was a great read, even though I felt like I was reading a news story from 2020. Unfortunately this could have been based on somebody’s real life experience. Too much family togetherness can stretch a person’s sanity to a breaking point. Zoje Stage’s writing puts you right there and you can feel the stress building within the house. Secrets come out but are they real or only the perception of reality?

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Grace had recently moved into her house a few months ago after having spent years saving for it when the pandemic hit. Single and now out of a job, her worries start to intensify about her financial stability. Enter Jackie, her newly widowed mother seeking a place to stay. They have never been close and although Grace cherishes her independence, she needs help. What starts as a seemingly innocent domestic thriller turns into a spine tingling nightmare.

First things first, this is a COVID/quarantine psychological thriller, and an outstanding one at that. I can't even begin to explain the madness that is this book. It shows the aggravations of having to live with a parent, while during quarantine, where every little thing gets on your nerve. This novel explores a more horrific side of that where you begin to see that maybe your time during quarantine wasn't so bad after all. This slowly escalates from drama to thriller to horror and has you wondering where it all went wrong. I highly recommend this to my fellow readers.

Thank you Netgalley for this ARC.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a digital arc of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

This book tells the suspenseful tale of the circumstances that lead a daughter to live with her estranged mother, and how quickly their meeting spirals out of control. They both struggle to find a means of peaceful communication and things appear to be far from both of their grasp on control, as harmful accusations against each other are made. Trapped in a pandemic, as well as the nightmarish crevices of the mind, there must be sacrifices and self-acknowledgment for the truth to be set free, even if it means that one person has to suffer for it.

My reviews are completely based on my personal opinions and should not affect the ways that others perceive this story. I deliberated with my rating on this book until I was able to finally settle on 2.5 stars. The beginning was extremely slow and it took me approximately 50% before I was able to begin feeling immersed in the story. I felt no connection to any of the characters, which impacted my appreciation for them and their relationships. The plot was well-thought-out but because of how long it took for some development to be made, I was extremely detached from the book by the time I got to the climax. I also am not a fan of the slightly conversational tone that the writing style represented, and the mentions of the pandemic were a bit jarring because it is still something that I am getting accustomed to in fiction.

Overall, I do think that this is an interesting novel, but it just was not for me. I am still curious as to whether or not I will be a bigger fan of the author's other works, so I will still check out anything else that they have published. This was an interesting concept and I am grateful to Netgalley for providing me with the opportunity to read this book.

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The first thing that I love about this book is the cover! Cover. Love. On this one! They say never judge a book by its cover, but I’m so glad that I did with this one. This was my first Zoje Stage read, and I cannot wait to read her very popular Baby Teeth next.

Mothered took place during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. Even though we are not totally out of the woods yet with Covid, it just seems like so long ago that the whole world was practically shut down. Many of us may have been stuck at home or sheltering in place with someone who we may might not have been very close with- as was the case in Mothered. Grace and her estranged mother Jackie, were in lockdown together. It was during this lockdown that strange occurrences started to happen, especially for Grace. Grace started having weird dreams and nightmares, sometimes not being able to tell the difference between real life or the dream…
Grace also had a twin sister named Hope, who passed away. Will Grace’s mother,Jackie and her dreams help her remember what really happened to her sister?

The ending of Mothered had a nice little surprise ending that I did not see coming. I also enjoyed the Epilogue very much, as it will leave you with something to think about for some time afterwards.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. Publication date: February 14, 2023

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This is one of the most sinister books I’ve read all year. There’s nothing scarier than a mother with duplicitous motives. You will absolutely get swept away in this book.

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Grace isn’t exactly thrilled when her newly widowed mother, Jackie, asks to move in with her. They’ve never had a great relationship, and Grace likes her space especially now that she’s stuck at home during a pandemic. Then again, she needs help with the mortgage after losing her job. And maybe it’ll be a chance for them to bond or at least give each other a hand.
But living with Mother isn’t for everyone. Good intentions turn bad soon after Jackie moves in. Old wounds fester; new ones open. Grace starts having nightmares about her disabled twin sister, who died when they were kids. And Jackie discovers that Grace secretly catfishes people online a hobby Jackie thinks is unforgivable.
I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to read more books by Zoje Stage I read this in one sitting definitely recommend
Thank You NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer
I just reviewed Mothered by Zoje Stage. #Mothered #NetGalley

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Covid has hit and Grace is jobless and living alone. Being alone sits her just fine, the pile of mounting bills is becoming a problem, so she makes a deal with the devil and allows her mother to move in with her. The two have never had a particularly close relationship, but needs must. Still, the minute Jackie moves in, tension boils over; Jackie discovers her daughter has some unsavory internet habits and Grace is having nightmare about her disabled twin sister, who died when they were children. Soon, a lack of sleep and the close confines of living in lockdown have devastating consequences. Creepy as hell

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I want to thank Netgalley,and Thomas & Mercer for an e-arc of this.

I could not read this fast enough. I seriously want to give it more than 5 stars, but Goodreads wont allow it. My first Zoje Stage book was Baby Teeth. ( I also, was able to read as a ARC). I thought that was a wild ride. This is wilder. So many times I felt like I was the character. I was so thrilled. So many moments made me to "What the F*ck".
I did have a laugh at one scene since it reminded me oddly of something from my own childhood. (Spoiler FREE). The scene involves a hamster, and I had something similar happen to my hamster. I just don't know which situation would of been worse. (Zoje, if you're reading this I'll gladly share my own hamster story.)
I loved having the confusing feeling throughout. This book really kept me guessing. I highly recommend you read this if you love thrills,and horror. I've read some have been let down by Zoje Stage before ( not me, i love all of it.) but if you've been let down before please,please give 'Mothered' a chance.

On a last note I want to mention the book cover. Now unfortunately the artwork doesn't display on an arc on my kindle. But viewing the artwork on Goodreads, as well as Netgalley it looks beautiful. I wonder if it's embossed, or textured in anyway? I know you still would't get the textures, or colors in an ebook copy, but it's still a stunning cover. I know we are not supposed to judge books by their covers, but I'm sorry, the cover is the very first thing we see on a book. Even before reading a synopsis. If this was my first book by Zoje Stage, and all I had to go off was the cover, it would of pulled me in. That's what attracted me to Baby Teeth. ( I don't remember if I covered that in my Baby Teeth review or not). Major props to whoever designs Zoje Stage's book covers because they are creepy,and eye catching. Very bookshelf worthy.

I think that about covers it, at least I hope I didn't miss anything. Now, with that said. Go out,and read,and or pre-order 'Mothered' by Zoje Stage (pub date. 2/14/123)

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I really enjoyed this book! This is only my second read by Zoje but both have been good. The story follows Grace who seems to be a good regular person somewhat struggling financially during the pandemic so her estranged mother, Jackie, moves in. Their relationship has stalled but both seem to want to fix it. Once Jackie arrives, Grace starts to have nightmares involving her twin sister, Hope, who died when they were 12. Hope had cerebral palsy and according to Grace was mean and violent at times. The dreams are also full of guilt about Grace’s extracurricular activities online. She pretends to be men catfishing women. It all comes to a head when Grace finds a locked box in her mother’s room and finds out what’s inside. Excellent book…makes me wonder about that epilogue!

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This book really does have a claustrophobic feel to it, it was exactly what I was looking for from the description. We've all gone through quarantine and I can only imagine what it would be like to quarantine with someone you don't like. It hit close to home with the sickness and being contagious

I really enjoyed the idea of what was in Grace's head and what was real, it really was a wonderfully done mystery that was going on. I never knew what was happening and who was telling the truth, it was a really well done plot and I enjoyed going on this journey.

"He hadn’t been sleeping well for a few weeks now. His nights were plagued by the strangest dreams. And his
imagination, well schooled in the depraved and the macabre, was revealing things he wasn’t sure he could ever unsee."

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HOLY. HELL!!!! This BOOK!!!! Can I give it all the stars? Is that allowed?? Baby Teeth is one of my all time favourite books and I didn’t think Zoje could possible beat that. But then she comes in hot with Mothered and I’m questioning everything! I was hooked from the first chapter and it never let up. The whole time the reader ends up questioning their own sanity while Grace is questioning hers. 100/10, seriously, this is going to be in my top reads of 2022 I can already tell. The twists just keep coming, just when you think you’ve got a handle on what’s going on, nope, Zoje throws another loop in there. So beautiful. So heartbreaking. So messed up. I loved it!!

Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Trapped in your house with your mother as a result of the pandemic has dire consequences in the book Mothered!

This book blew my mind! I eagerly devoured it in one sitting. The fallout from the pandemic is something everyone can relate to and the author captured this perfectly adding a supernatural twist. The entire time I was reading I couldn’t definitively decide on the mental state of the main character Grace and I loved it! It was creepy, claustrophobic, atmospheric, and by the end my mind was twisted into a pretzel.

Grace is learning to navigate life after the pandemic when her elderly mother asks to move in with her. The two have had a strained, tumultuous relationship and Grace immediately regrets her decision when she says yes to her mothers request. She decides to look at the glass half full, and hopes that their relationship will be different.
Things take a drastic turn after her mother Jackie moves in. Jackie is critical, passive aggressive, and judgmental. Grace also begins having disturbing dreams about her deceased twin sister Hope who suffered from Cerebral Palsy. Grace’s dreams intensify as she begins to question reality.
After a disturbing accusation from her mother sends her off the deep end, an act of revenge changes Grace’s life forever.

Mothered is available February 14,2023

Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for this arc in exchange for my honest review.

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