Mothers' Instinct

A Novel

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Pub Date 16 May 2023 | Archive Date 11 Jul 2023

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Soon to be a major US motion picture starring Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain, Mothers’ Instinct is a dark, twisty domestic thriller in which the bond between two couples—best friends and next-door neighbors—mutates in dangerous and deadly ways in the wake of a tragic accident.

David and Laetitia Brunelle and Sylvain and Tiphaine Geniot are inseparable friends and next-door neighbors in a pretty, tranquil suburb. Their sons Milo and Maxime, born in the same year, grow up together as close as brothers. But when Maxime is killed in an accident, their idyllic world shatters. Maxime's parents, Sylvain and Tiphaine, are consumed by grief and bitterness, while David and Laetitia are wracked with guilt for their role in the tragedy. Soon the couples are barely speaking, although they maintain a polite façade.

Then a mysterious series of “accidents” begins to happen to Milo, raising Laetitia’s suspicions. Are their former best friends trying to punish them by threatening their son? As an increasingly paranoid Laetitia frantically tries to protect Milo from harm, the little civility left between the two families curdles into outward hostility. Is Laetitia just imagining things? Or are Sylvain and Tiphaine secretly conspiring to exact their revenge . . . and if so, who will pay?

In her American debut, blockbuster Belgian author Barbara Abel plunges into the deepest, darkest corners of her characters’ hearts and minds to explore the limits of friendship, the overwhelming power of maternal love, and how far hate, fear, and vengeance can drive us. Tense and blood-chilling, with a surprising final twist, Mothers' Instinct will keep you on edge until the final page.

Translated from the French by Susan Pickford

Soon to be a major US motion picture starring Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain, Mothers’ Instinct is a dark, twisty domestic thriller in which the bond between two couples—best friends and...

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ISBN 9780063306318
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Featured Reviews

This was one heck of a domestic thriller. Mind-bending, nerve-wracking, pulse-pouding - wondering how many more hyphenated phrases I can use?? It was twisty-turny deliciousness as the story unfolds. I did figure some things out before the reveal of what was actually going on, but that's simply because I've read so many of these types of stories lately that I am always looking hard at the clues. I did NOT expect what ended up happening as being how it would necessarily play out, so I found myself will my mouth hanging open and yelling DAYUMMMM that's harsh. I really enjoyed this one.

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Thank you to the publishers @harperviabooks and @netgalley for this e-ARC of Mothers’ Instinct, releasing May 16th and soon to be a major motion picture featuring Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain!

🇫🇷 enjoy translated books
💨 want a fast paced read
😮 love jaw dropping twists
👀 like unreliable narrators


Laetitia and Tiphaine are best friends with sons that are nearly the same age, but when a tragic accident occurs, it tears an irreparable hole in their friendship.


Laetitia and Tiphaine have been friends for a while when they find out their kids will be just 3 months apart in age. Living in a duplex in France, the two friends can’t wait to watch their boys grow up together, but when a sudden accident leaves one of them childless, tensions rise and friendships begin to collapse. Will this loss tear them apart forever or will they find their way back to before?


One word - WOW. This was such an unputdownable read. The pacing was fast, the chapters were fairly short, and the POV changed between characters in an easy to understand manner. I had no idea what to expect when I first opened this story, but I was not disappointed! That ending will have your jaw on the floor and wondering what the hell just happened/this can’t possibly be real. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Mothers’ Instinct when it drops May 16th! I cannot wait to see the movie version!

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This book caught my eye because it's soon to be a movie, starring Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain.
Whew! This thriller takes it to the next level. Two couples live next door to each other, and their lives are intertwined: they are best friends, they were pregnant together, and the young boys are best friends as well.
When a tragic accident occurs, (kudos for making it unusual rather than a car accident or similar)
With this, the families are shattered, as are the ties they had. Yet, they still live literally over the hedge from each other, and "accidents" begin to happen to the boy who lived. While his mom, Laetitia, thinks her former friend is targeting her son, Milo, her husband is supportive, but begins to think she's imagining things. This ia an American debut from a Belgian author, and I just noticed it was translated from French. Do not let that sway you at was perfectly translated, and I loved it. The end...OMG...I'm still reeling a bit from it, having finished it a few hours ago. This book was so well done, and I loved it.
Thank you to HarperVia, NetGalley and the author for an e-ARC of this title, Mother's Instinct, in exchange for my honest review.
All opinions are my own.

#HarperVia, #NetGalley #must read #MothersInstinct #Thriller

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When I started this, I was expecting yet another story about two feuding neighbors/moms with the usual drama. Man, was I wrong. This was different, darker and more disturbing in so many ways to say the least. I can't even begin to imagine what the movie is going to be like. When you start this one, be fully prepared and brace yourself. I can't even count how many times I was like, "Wait, what? Did that really just happen?". This is going to be a hit and I can't wait to see the reaction. Five Stars.

Thank you Netgalley and Harper Via for this ARC

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