Cover Image: Graveyard of Lost Children

Graveyard of Lost Children

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Member Reviews

Decades after her mother almost murdered her, Olivia Dahl becomes a mother herself. She should be happy and glowing, but instead feels herself slipping away into episodes of psychosis, hallucinations and the idea that her baby may not be her baby after all. Afraid of repeating history, Olivia suddenly demands answers to her mother’s story and, really, her own. Graveyard of Lost Children is a beautiful narrative on the postpartum process on women, from the good to the worst.

I absolutely adored Monroe’s debut novel, They Drown Our Daughters, when I read the ARC last year so seeing this book pop up on NetGalley was an instant request for me. The writing of the book is consuming, agonizing in its truth. As a reader, I can feel the characters emotions like my own. This book draws on elements of horror, thriller, and narrative fiction to put forth this thought provoking novel.

As a main character, I loved getting to see inside of Olivia’s head, her thoughts and fears, doubts and desperate need for the truth. The way she’s written is so true and raw. The side characters were okay and played their roles, but Olivia carried the book. It was interesting to see the similarities and contrasts between her own struggle and that of her mother’s through her mother’s journaling. 

As a whole, the book was definitely slow to start but then really picks up pace. I wasn’t quite sure where it was going until about a third of the way in and then I just couldn’t put it down. Haunting, beautiful, and definitely thought provoking. I recommend this so much!
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Unfortunately I had to DNF this book. Being a mother, this book hit way too hard and brought up some memories from when my babies were young. It was also just a bit too yuck for me and I found the storyline to be quite repetitive.
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This was a very dark novel about two women, mother and daughter, and the struggles they suffer during and after pregnancy. The time frames switch from the past, with Shannon as a young teenage mother and the present with her daughter Olivia. Shannon hears voices and is haunted by visions of a dark haired woman who convinces her that her baby has been traded and replaced by another.. She attempts to get rid of the baby and because of this ends up having her daughter Olivia taken away. Now in present day, Olivia is having a child of her own. All seems to be going well until she, like her mother starts to hear whispers from the dark haired woman. After giving birth, Olivia begins to doubt that the child is hers, and becomes obsessed with finding her baby. Are these visions real or is her mental health starting to fail? Desperate to discover the truth, Olivia must look to the past to find the answers at any cost. Such a nightmarish ride! I gave this novel 4 stars.
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A truly moving, haunting story. The writing fit the story, I cared about the characters, and the plot itself was pretty good too. The themes of motherhood were explored well. Horror fans will enjoy this one for sure.
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I received an advanced copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
We follow Olivia after giving birth to her daughter, Flora. She begins seeing things and hearing voices she can't explain. She is desperate to figure out what is happening, but she cannot seem to trust anyone around her, not even her wife.
This book is incredible. Katrina Monroe does a fantastic job of weaving a story around birth, motherhood and postpartum depression. She gives voice to the doubts and fears many mothers think and face. 
This book has heavy content. TW include description of birth, loss of child, child endangerment, postpartum depression, mistreatment of people with mental illness.
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The anxieties and horrors of new motherhood are very real 

Last year I reviewed Katrina Monroe’s impressive debut They Drown Our Daughters and her second novel Graveyard of Lost Children revisits some of the same themes. Both feature complex generational family dramas, issues involving motherhood, mental fragility and women who struggle in accepting who they are. Monroe’s earlier novel probably leaned towards thriller territory than this second offering which is more of a meditation on motherhood and the complexities of being a new parent.

Graveyard of Lost Children does not pull its punches in regard to being a new mum and if anything is going to put you off having kids for life. New-born babies are incredibly hard work and this fact is drip fed throughout the pages of Graveyard of Lost Children with a mentally frazzled Olivia Dahl struggling to deal with her demanding and always hungry newly born daughter Flora. If you are after an out-and-out scare-fest of a novel then this might not be the book for you, it is much more of a psychological slow burner with realistic and believable characters with problems which manifest in different ways. How these problems manifest themselves, and how they are diagnosed, is the beating heart of the story.

The novel has two unfolding narratives, a generation apart of two women, Olivia and her mother Shannon. They are similar in that they both involve very small babies, but how they are connected is not immediately apparent in the story, except for the fact that both women face very similar problems. When Olivia takes baby Flora home she feels isolated from her wife Kris who continues on with her life, whilst she remains at home feeling fat, useless and that she should be bonding more successfully with her child. The relationship between mother and child, as well as wife and wife, are critical to the success of the story and the anxieties felt by Olivia came across as authentic and painfully realistic. 

The Olivia and Shannon plotlines follow very similar cycles and it is revealed early on that Olivia was not raised by her natural mother and this shadow dominates what follows. For various reasons neither woman is a reliable narrator, with some of Shannon’s story unfolding via journal entries and combined they create a strong sense of maternal/parental ease rather than the supernatural story which may or not be real. The blend of the uncanny with very natural anxieties was perfectly pitched and even though Olivia spoke to her wife she never felt she was ever listened to.

When our daughter was tiny I remember my wife having very irrational fears that our baby was going to stop breathing and no matter what I said she remained very unsettled. On another occasion her sister visited and for some bizarre reason she felt she would make a better mother to our daughter! These types of weird feelings permeate throughout Graveyard of Lost Children where Olivia cannot stop herself from following the same path as her mother. As well as being a very good thriller, with even a true crime podcast being thrown into the mix, the novel is a powerful meditation on irrational fears and insecurities which are very difficult to explain to another person.

Ultimately the book is about fear of failing, pressure to succeed, pain, self-doubt, post-natal depression, isolation and psychosis all mixed into a baby food blender. This is not a light or an easy read and I found myself drifting around the midpoint, wincing at the descriptions of bloody chewed nipples, sore backs and all the other personal problems Olivia suffered from. However, the thriller element which sees the obsessed Olivia investigating into her mother’s past brought the story back on track. 

You often hear of women believing their babies were mixed up in hospital or doubting whether the child looks like and this is where the heart of Graveyard of Lost Children beats. Olivia believes that Flora has been in some way switched and that the baby she is nursing is not only hers, but might not even be human. The changeling story is nothing new but Katrina Monroe does a good job of breathing new life into it and keeping the reader on the hook over what exactly ails Olivia and Shannon before her. 

Graveyard of Lost Children tackles some very tough subjects and it is very easy for mental health issues concerning new mothers to be pushed under the carpet or be seen as neurotic. This novel builds a very convincing drama thriller around these anxieties and knits it nicely together via a convincing element of dread and horror.
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A fast paced, shocking, and disturbing story that I binged because I couldn't put it down! There's no doubt that Katrina Monroe is an amazing writer and it really shows though this book.
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Well damn, this book was dark. It was a dark place to go to as a mom of an infant. But it was still a riveting horror story. I can’t get over how hauntingly beautiful the writing was.
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Thank you Net Galley for the free ARC. I am afraid that this book really was not for me. The basic premise is post partum depression in two different generations. I did not care for any of 
 the characters.
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3.5 stars. Olivia gives birth to her daughter Flora and finds herself flailing, overwhelmed by motherhood and its many unique facets. Some of the things she's experiencing, though, are unnerving — borderline horrific, even — and she starts to wonder if she's losing her grip on sanity. This fear is confounded by the fact that her mother was committed to a mental health facility when she was still an infant. Is instability genetic? Or is someone really trying to take her child?

I am not a mother. I don't have children, don't want them, and don't really spend much time around them. I still found this book interesting, but I think mothers will be better prepared than I to appreciate the small nuances and the overall message of the story. I found the horror components to be successful; I was thoroughly creeped out by the vivid imagery and depictions of the black-haired woman! One of the smaller twists was obvious to me from the beginning, but there were several other small surprises along the way that I enjoyed.

Overall, I liked this book. I couldn't personally relate to the allegorical component (postpartum depression and mommy guilt) but it worked nonetheless. Thank you to Katrina Monroe, Poisoned Pen Press, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
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It took too long to get where it was going. It felt repetitive and drawn out so it eventually became a slog. Can’t lie, I was confused for a good portion of the book, it felt disconnected and convoluted. Thanks to #NetGalley for the ARC.
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Thank you to the author and publisher for the advance reader copy of this book. 

Man, this book was something. It originally took me a while to get into it. BUT once I was sucked in, the book did not let go. A great, scary read.
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I requested a digital copy in order to sample the prose on my phone (since I don't have a eReader) before requesting a physical copy for review. My review will be based on the physical ARC I read (if I qualify)
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This book was fantastic! I really enjoyed it and it kept me guessing throughout, which is difficult for most books to do. I felt like I connected with the characters and really enjoyed the plot!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this ARC.  

This book was DARK and CREEPY, but soooo good!  

This book is told from the perspectives of Olivia and Shannon, who both after birth suffer issues with postpartum depression and mental heath.  However, there is also the dark haired women who is seem by both women.  This book  has you wondering if there is a dark presence taking over the women, or is it mental health?

I highly suggest this book if mental health and post partum depression are not triggers.
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This was so dark and I loved it so much. It captured me wholly. I couldn't put this story down for anything. Dinner? Who is she? I can eat this Kindle, I'll be fine.
It's creepy and heartbreaking!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for an advanced copy of this ebook in exchange for my honest review. 

Wow. Katrina Monroe has written an extremely dark, chilling, creepy novel heavily based on postpartum depression and mental health issues. 

There is definitely a build up of suspense in this book but for me it wasn’t ‘edge-of-your-seat-need-to-keep-going’ thrill. I found there to be some sections that were quite dull but overall the pacing was okay. 

Told from two perspectives, Olivia and Shannon, both after birth of their children and the issues they have faced. This book makes you confront mental health issues and really makes you wonder if something more sinister is going on. Definitely recommend if PP depression is not a trigger for you!
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Graveyard of Lost Children is a spooky story about the post-partum hauntings of a teenager who gave birth to a child and that child's own hauntings when she gives birth to her own daughter. In the mix is a doctor who is also trying to understand the trauma her own mother experienced. The novel follows up with discussion questions for readers. A good read for horror fans and book clubs that want to explore the genre.
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Trigger warnings for: postpartum depression, psychiatric hospitalization, paranoia, mental health issues, anxiety, death, self-harm, suicide attempt, graphic description of childbirth, attempted murder, manipulation.

Well, Graveyard of Lost Children is a very heavy and creepy book, but very good. It's the kind of book you start reading and can't stop. It is divided into two POVs: Olivia in present times and Shannon, her mother, when she was young.

There are some things that I didn't like, for example, some parts are kinda slow-pacing, repetitive and dull and ends up making the book too long.

But overall it's a very good book, a biting-my-nails book, disconcerting and scary. I found the ending quite interesting and innovative because it's not one of those "everything worked out perfectly and everyone lived happily ever after" endings, it's realistic and relatable.
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This book was something else! This is the first book I’ve ever read that falls into the horror/thriller category and it was AWESOME. I highly suggest reading the trigger warnings before reading this book. Especially if you are a mother or recently had a child. This book will really mess with you mentally. With that said, I loved this book! Olivia, the main character was VERY relatable. It really makes you question your sanity, especially as a mother. This book is a dual POV with switching timelines so some points are hard to keep up with at first but once you get into the groove of the story it’s very easy to move through it. This book will definitely be on my list to suggest to those who love a good scary story. I could not put it down and I love that this was my first book in this genre. Great job to the author! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!
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