You must sign in to see if this title is available for request. Sign In or Register Now
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date May 14 2024 | Archive Date Jun 13 2024

Talking about this book? Use #Amelia #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Elbowing elderly women in the face during a ham sale should have alerted the residents that something was wrong with Madeline Auger of 43 Maple Drive.

Madeline Auger embodies the epitome of motherhood perfection. Yet, sinister murmurs of her beloved Amelia’s contamination ignite an internal revolt, where maternal instincts metamorphize into an ominous entity lurking in the shadows. Something with teeth. 

When doubts and mistrust shatter one’s reputation, even the most maternal and nurturing demeanor cannot conceal the malevolent forces that are lurking beneath the surface, ready to cause harm and destruction. 

Elbowing elderly women in the face during a ham sale should have alerted the residents that something was wrong with Madeline Auger of 43 Maple Drive.

Madeline Auger embodies the epitome of motherhood...

Available Editions

ISBN 9798988592365
PRICE $2.98 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 56 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and BDA Publishing for an advanced copy of this novella.

I think I can honestly say that this was the most disturbing horror novella I've ever read. I wasn't even sure how to rate this, because honestly it was so well done and unique, but because of the subject matter I feel wrong saying that this was a 5 star read for me (which it is, I can't imagine how it was actually writing this as the author).

This novella was written as letters from a mother to her daughter. The mother is clearly unhinged, and it shows through her writing style (sometimes it sounds like a normal letter, but on other days it's a stream of consciousness/thoughts). Over the course of several months, you can start to see the picture of what happened, and it just gets more and more horrifying. There were also 911 transcripts and police reports included, which I think were an interesting touch and added to how horrific this situation was.

This was one of the more unique formats I've read, and honestly one of the most messed up/dark/depressing stories I've read. In the acknowledgements (and in the forward of the novella), the author and friend of the author allude to potential traumas the author had experienced and have worked though, and I hope this was a cathartic release for A.W. Rene.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley, BDA Publishing, and AW Rene for the opportunity to read this ARC. All opinions are honest and my own!

Let me start this review by saying I had never read horror before reading this short story. I wasn’t sure what to expect and it definitely shocked me a LOT.

First and foremost, the triggers are at the END of the book, so please read those before reading the rest of the book. (I strongly suggest putting triggers before the start of the story!)

This short story was a tragic tale told in the form of letters from mother to daughter. As the letters go on, you can see that the narrator’s mental health was unstable and that she was very unreliable. Sometimes the letters were full letters with laid out thoughts and details. Other times, however, they were ramblings of a very disturbed woman, incomplete sentences or just a few words repeated for entire paragraphs.

The epistolary format that this story is told in really sets this work apart from others, and it was a wonderful choice as I feel like it told the story in exactly the way it was perceived.

The story is DARK. It’s dark, it’s unsettling, it’s disturbing, it’s sometimes very gross. Which I imagine is exactly what someone is looking for when they select a book from the horror genre.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and BDA publishing for the advanced copy of this novella. It was an honor to be among the first to enter this chaos.

It was obscene, and gruesome, and dank, and I LOVED it.

I have been reading a lot of dark subject matter the past month and as always I find it most difficult to review. It's difficult to separate the material from the overall writing and narrative. The's yucky. Looking at the trigger warnings for this one is a must (the mouth

Aside from the troublesome subject matter, I think this was well written. I enjoyed the uniqueness of the story being told through letters with interspersed police reports. The chaotic nature of the letters - especially the interweaving of past and future tenses, the unhinged rambling, and repetitiveness - drew me in and kept me wondering what happened to Amelia and what was going on in that house.

I also really liked the personification of the house and the slight religious leanings. I wish the author would've leaned more on the religious justifications used in the novella.

Overall this was an interesting and gripping horror novella well-suited to and best served in one intense chaotic burst.

Was this review helpful?

i have mixed feelings about this piece. the epistolary style of this novel was intriguing, and i really enjoyed the inclusion of 911 transcripts and police reports as supplemental plot info, but i am wondering if this piece was actually well written or just shocking. the imagery was brutal, grotesque, and abrasive, but repetitive in nature. narratives centered on child abuse, i feel, need to be really well done to not come across as trauma porn. i liked the stream of consciousness style but there were a lot of moments where i thought "this is gratuitous and doesn't serve a purpose."

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for this arc!!! As a weirdo freak i love a weird nasty book (respectfully). I really enjoyed the format of this book in the way it’s mainly letters from the mother. You can see her loose it more and more as the book progresses and i really enjoyed that. I love an unhinged character and this did it for me. A lot of bugs and nasty in case that’s something you don’t care for but i liked it.

Was this review helpful?

This book was written in the form of letters from mother to daughter. I didn’t know what to expect from this one as it’s a first for me. This short story follows Amelia’s mother who is very clearly unhinged and I saw her slip into madness. This was horrific and disturbing but boy did I eat this up! Please read the trigger warning before you read this one!

Was this review helpful?

Read this book in a few hours yesterday afternoon. It was a quick read as it is composed mostly of letters written by a mother to a daughter.

I’ve read many suspense novels and this one differs from other books in that it is usually an omniscient narrator that tells the story and throughout the mother’s letters, you get a peek into her inner mind by the typos she makes which are crossed out.

From the beginning of the book you get a sense that something strange is going to happen. There are forewords given by the author and her friend which really heighten your expectation of something extraordinary happening.

Reading through the letters you get a sense that you know what is happening and are just waiting for the hammer to come down and for your thoughts to be confirmed. There are times when the letters are interrupted by various police reports alluding to something that is happening.

The end was a bit predictable to me, but I enjoyed the story and the pace of the book was good. The book does leave some lingering thoughts-for example, I could stop thinking about the moths, larvae and Amelia,

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a short, quick read that can engage you for a night or two.

There are some trigger warnings at the end. For example, some descriptions of gore could be deemed explicit by some. There is mention of S.A. of a minor and victim blaming.

I’m giving it 4 stars because of the ease of reading, its brevity and the suspense that builds.

Was this review helpful?

This was a strange and uncomfortable read in the best way.

The book is set as letters or journal entries from a mother to her daughter that outline her descent into madness. Is her breakdown from grief or is she truly evil, it's unclear. But this woman is unwell and has done terrible things.
As her delusions become more terrible, readers get peeks at the true horrors that have taken place in her home as the letters go on.

The author provides us with a comprehensive list of trigger warnings and for good reason. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is obvious this story is a labour of love and my heart goes out to the author for her courage to write it, as they disclose it comes from a place of lived experience. I feel honoured to have had an opportunity to grieve with the author through this book despite the palpable anxiety the horror of it gave me.

Was this review helpful?

This book is written almost exclusively in letters from a mother to her daughter. And while it's my first time reading a story like this, i had the best time with it.

The writing in Amelia is so descriptive and terrifyingly beautiful. At several parts of this book i was torn between "i need to read more of this author" and "i don't ever want to read anything like this again". Because WOW was it a depressing and heartbreaking story.
Our unreliable narrator just didn't give me enough information because she was so perfectly delusional and psychotic.
I didn't want this to end. I wanted this to be a 600 pages novel. I needed to know more about this woman and her family.

Please check the trigger warnings for this.

Thanks to Netgalley and BDA Publishing for the arc. I had the best and the worst time reading this.

4.5 stars 🌟

Was this review helpful?

Mind Fucking Blown!!!!

This is a dark one. It's fascinating, disgusting, frustrating, shocking, fear inducing, and just insanely well written and captivating. I couldn't put this down.

I love the format of the letters written from a mother to her daughter. It's clear to readers she suffers from mental illness. The letters leave you guessing as to what is real and what are hallucinations. The very descriptive imagery of bugs and scent created a clear image in my head of a house of horrors. The incorporation of 911 Calls and Police Reports brought it all together and answered all unknowns.


This is not for the faint of heart. Especially those who can't read about the unaliving, sa, or shaming of children and/or dogs.

Was this review helpful?

This book is written in a format of letters from a mother, transcripts from 911 calls and police reports.

The protagonist is absolutely unhinged! Some letters seemed somewhat normal and others felt like some sort of fever dream. I appreciated the clarity that the 911 calls and reports gave. I think the constant confusion took me out of the gore or horror that was happening in the home so that aspect didn't hit as hard for me,

The writing is great, there was just something that kept taking me out of it. The only thing I can chalk that up to be is the confusion. There were a lot of names and things to figure out in the beginning,..

The ending of this book was HORRIFIC! Once we got some clarity, my stomach turned to no end.

I love a wild, unhinged disgusting ride and this novella was nothing short of that!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley and BDA Publishing for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! I didn’t know what to expect from this one but it managed to exceed my expectations. This was a really quick, but good, psychological thriller story. Usually, I don’t like books that are told using letters or journal entries but this book did it very well! I also really enjoyed how unreliable the narrator was and how you need to read between the lines to get the whole story. I could definitely see myself rereading this later and having a different reading experience because I already read it. I recommend this one!

Was this review helpful?

Amelia does a fabulous job at making you uneasy.

It's written as a series of letters from a mother, Madeline Auger, to her daughter, Amelia, and as the story progresses you see  911 transcripts and incident reports. I absolutely loved that it's written in this way because it's a great way of showing how unreliable Madeline is and you get to see how quickly she spirals. I also loved how the story doesn't necessarily reveal everything so you have to read between the lines and draw your own conclusions to what's going on.

Amelia is a short book that I easily read in one sitting since it was so well-written and atmospheric. It's very dark, gory, and it's got detailed descriptions of bugs (which made me squeamish). Also, huge props to the author for including trigger warnings!

Amelia comes out in May, and I highly recommend checking this one out! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the gifted copy!

Was this review helpful?

This book is about a mother writing letters to her daughter Amelia. The letters go from loving to sinister throughout the length of this novella.

I had such a great time reading this book. Rene did a really good job with Madeline’s chracters. The deepdive into the character and the realistic potrayal of her derailing mentalitity was unnerving to read. You get sucked into her letters and deeply disturbed by her writing. How she goes from caring to blaming her daughter for everything wrong happening in her life. The whole novella is a a excellent charachter study and I’m definerly going to pick up other works from Rene.

Was this review helpful?

Madeleine loves her daughter so dearly. She writes daily letters to her Amelia. She misses her….why doesn’t Amelia call or write? She has so much to tell her. Nosy neighbors and their misbehaved pets going missing. Rude people that stare in the grocery store…so what if she elbowed a couple of old ladies in the face. Why they were being rude. Rude!

Read this book of Madeleine’s letter to watch the local “crazy lady on Maple Drive” descend into a spiral of madness. I felt a dark and ominous cloud settle in letter by letter. Thank you #netgalley for allowing me to read and review #Amelia.

Was this review helpful?

Although veteran extreme horror readers will find almost the entire book's plot predictable and unoriginal, the format, the prose, and the genuine emotion literally flooding from this short novella will be appreciated even by those too jaded to care. 'Amelia' is an immersive, addictive read, perfectly structured as a series of letters from a mother to her underage daughter and the eventual police reports that explain some of the events indirectly described in the letters. Masterfully bluring the line between mental issues and the manifestations of a haunting, the book is filled with uncanny imagery, subtle menace, creepy ambiguity, and unsettling moments of implied abuse and murder. The author avoids melodrama for subtlety, which makes the letters short works of art. The real monsters here are the people one trusts blindly, though everything is brilliantly layered with aspects of the supernatural. An incredible read!

Was this review helpful?

I loved the unique formatting of this novella through the perspective of letters and police reports that let you progress into madness with the protagonist who is literally one of the most unhinged characters I have encountered in a long time. The content warnings do not need to be taken lightly and some of the content can literally leave your stomach contents threatening to come up. The personification of the house is enough for nightmares to linger as the lights go down and readers will be left unsettled as the final page turns. I highly recommend this novella for fans of the gruesome, fans of horror, and fans who want to be shocked.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you BDA Publishing and AW Rene for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Amelia. This book is everything I wanted and didn't know I needed. Five stars all around for a book that made me uncomfortable in my own skin, a feat not easily obtained.

Amelia made my skin crawl and made me feel so many different emotions, and isn't that what a good book does? Makes you feel something. I couldn't get enough of the epistolary style and didn't realize how much I adored it. The series of letters from mother to daughter encompass a horrific life filled with secrets and horrendous acts.

The single narrator added to the disturbing feelings AW Rene left in my stomach with her descriptions and setting. I felt like I could hear the stairs wail, and see the dust floating in the air. I could hear the crunch of cockroaches, and feel the flutter of moths around me.

AW Rene has written one of the most captivating horror novella's I've ever read and I will be recommending it to everyone I know. Five stars, all around.

Was this review helpful?

Written entirely in letter or report form, Amelia is truly a unique read. As you read, you slowly start to realise that not everything is going right. Our author goes from a mother writing letters to her child to a completely unreliable and crazed person. It went on to be a lot darker than I expected towards the ending and with that, I certainly didn't want this one to end. I needed more in the middle. More of the crazy, more of the gore, more of the creeps. I just needed it all.

Amelia is perfect for anyone who needs a short and satisfying read full of chills and thrills (and creeps for anyone who like me, doesn't like bugs) There are a plethora of content warnings, so make sure you check those before diving in. Thank you to NetGalley, BDA Publishing and A.W Rene for an advanced copy. You can preorder this one now, it is set for release on May 14th, 2024.

Was this review helpful?

Wow, amazing book. I love how it used letters from a mother to her daughter to tell the story. Great, detailed descriptions and it was vague when needed. Creepy, unsettling and lots of bugs.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for approving my request.

Was this review helpful?

4.5 stars, rounded up.

This is one disturbing sliver of a story.

Aside from some police reports, Amelia is told through letters from a mother to her daughter Amelia - her "Delicate Moth". AW Rene builds the tension so exquisitely. Amelia's mother complains about the mundane - neighbours and busybodies at the store. But then writes odd things about the stairs in her house crying and screaming. You start to read between the lines noticing hints of the mother's violent reactions, and visions of larvae and insects. Rene's writing and pacing allow you to learn even more from what Amelia's mother doesn't say in her letters. By the time it picks up speed, there's no turning back when the horror ramps up. I'm not a horror fan unless it's a novella or short story. This was the perfect length for me.

Amelia comes out May 14. Thank you to #netgalley and BDA Publishing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Amazing! It truly shows the author's growth in this genre.

Dark, disturbing, disgusting, depressing, degrading, dysfunctional, delusional, etc...

Check trigger warnings and use discretion :)

Was this review helpful?

My rating 4.5/5

AW Rene is by far the best at writing disturbing horror stories. Keep 'em coming A!

I really think epistolary is one of the hardest writing forms to pull off, but "Amelia" does it with beautiful grotesqueness.

I loved that it was difficult at first to tell what was real and what could have been the ramblings and fabrications of a failing mind. There was so much to process with each letter written to Amelia and the further it went on the more heartbreaking it became.

I never know if things like this are intentional or not, but the "Tell Tale Heart" aspect of the stairs was genius. The way she kept bringing up what color to paint them like it was just styling choices of a fickle person when in reality they were trying to say something she did not want anyone to hear added a bit of humor.

Overall, this novella is cringy, dark, emotional, and gross in all the best ways. Would definitely recommend for a light read. *wink*

Thank you to NetGalley, AW Rene, and BDA Publishing for this advance copy. This is my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I loved the format of this! I thought it was incredibly well done, a sense of foreboding permeated the entire novel, extremely creepy vibes all round!

Was this review helpful?

“Even the most stubborn and persistent blood eventually gives way to the purity of the water, joining the streams that carry away the debris, the remnants of memories best left forgotten.”

A.W. Rene’s novella tells the story of Madeline Auger of 43 Maple Drive. Something isn’t quite right with her. Although she sees herself as the epitome of motherhood, there is a poison that rots away at her mind towards her daughter. These thoughts are leading towards something darker and sinister and once the mistrust kicks in, it is this force that will dictate how she behaves towards her family and others.

The synopsis of this novella had me intrigued. I thought how dark can this be? I was shown exactly how messed up this story really was.

It’s written in a series of letters from Madeline to her daughter. Within these letters are what appears to be a loving mother but between the lines you can see the slip ups that are hinting at something much more evil.

Things escalade quickly, the hidden messages become clearer and the suspicions of the reader are confirmed the closer you reach towards the end. This was definitely a disturbing insight into a broken mind and an evil that was deeply routed within the home of Madeline.

A quick and unnerving read I would definitely recommend.

Was this review helpful?

Amelia is a disturbing horror novella told through a series of letters from a mother to her daughter.

This novella was incredibly well written. The author really well maintains a sense of dread all throughout using a stream of conscious style of writing. You can feel the mother's deteriorating mental state through the writing. The author manages to leave little hints about what is happening without giving everything away, which makes it all the more thrilling as you come towards the end, where all is revealed. There is no point where this gets boring or repetitive. I was constantly wanting to read more right until the very end, and I managed to read this easily within a day.

I really appreciate that this novella had a list of potential triggers at the back, as it does include some extremely disturbing and hard to read topics.

Was this review helpful?

Ok. This was twisted. I do not generally read novellas but I’m trying to do just that because they truly are little hidden gems.
Told in letter format, Madeline Auger writes to her child Amelia. The reader has no idea where Amelia is or frankly if she even ever existed.
As the novella continues, Madeline’s writings become more and more unhinged and interspersed with her words of love for Amelia, is an undercurrent of hatred and resentment. Each entry in this diary format draws the reader into Madeline’s insanity, paranoia and possibly murderous rage and hatred for everyone around her.
As the end nears, the horror that is the truth of Amelia and Madeline’s lives made me cringe. This is true terror, building suspense and dread that brings to light that no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors.
This short novella was sinister and very dark. When the reader realizes not only what happened to Amelia, but what Madeline was hiding and how those around her were unwittingly ensnared by her evil and insanity, it is truly chilling.

Was this review helpful?

this was a beautifully done horror novella, it had everything that I was looking for in this type of book. The characters felt like they belonged in this world and that we could see the unhinged behavior going on. I appreciated that the author was able to share this story with us and hope it released something for the author. I thought this was a dark book that was really well written and shouldn't read if easily triggered.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: