Graveyard of Lost Children is such a great read. Katrina Monroe writes some of the creepiest scenes and the most emotionally devastating as well. I would recommend this to anyone who likes something a little creepy. Perfect for anyone getting into horror or those who are well versed. It is just a great book.
This book was so good! I loved the eerie cover, and was hooked from page one. I feel like in this over saturated genre, it's hard to stand out, but this book definitely did!
A dark, unique take on postpartum and the struggle of being a "good mother". Frustrating that Olivia just doesn't communicate, but that's depression!
This was definitely an intriguing read. You have to love horror to enjoy this one. I think it did a great job of show casing ppd and mental illness but can be triggering for some. Very atmospheric as well.
Not a huge horror reader so this was a reach for me but I could most certainly appreciate the reflections on motherhood and post partum and the toll that takes on women.
This was such a fun thriller to read, and it didn’t read like a YA novel. The main character was unlikable, but I have a hard time truly liking characters in books due to decisions being made, and the way the story progresses.
Unfortunetly, it wasn't interesting enough for me to continue reading this. I tried for aproximately 50 pages, and then i realised i wasn't as hookes as i would have liked. Maybe i will give another chance to it, althouth i've read some reviews about it and they weren't as positive as i thought.
This book was one of my most anticipated reads and it didn’t disappoint. The dark premise reminded me of the Curse of Llorna that I’ve seen in movies. I read this one pretty quickly and I felt it was more than your average horror story. It was thought provoking for me and also well-written. I would recommend this to anyone who loves the thriller/psychological thriller genre.
It has been a long time since I have had to DNF an ARC but unfortunately that is exactly what I ended-up doing with this book. I made it approximately 30% of the way through this book but also jumped ahead to read the last couple of chapters and the back matter.
My reasons for DNFing this book are largely because the body horror was too much for me and isn't truly a reflection on this book. Pregnancy and childbirth are not something that I would ever want to experience and this book truly reinforced this as it opens with a very visceral scene of one of our protags giving birth and we later find out that her epidural was only effective on half of her body which frankly sounds like nightmare fuel. The following chapters that we are following this protag, we see her generally struggling with the transition to new motherhood. The body horror is dialled-up to an 11 as she struggles with new motherhood including repeatedly and constant descriptions of her nipples bleeding whenever she breastfeeds and her nails literally ripping away whilst showering. I wouldn't say that I usually struggle with body horror but it was just way too intense for me.
The fact that the body horror was what was impeding enjoyment was highlighted when I was reading the final chapters as there is virtually no body horror in these scenes and I found myself engaging a lot more with the story and any other criticisms that I had been feeling about this book, particularly the fact that whether it was supernatural or not, seemed to evaporate and I was gripped.
Beyond the struggle that I had with the body horror, I find that I connected a lot more with the other protag's story and was significantly more interested in hearing how she got into the position that she was in and seeing her struggles around her pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood. I think the fact that I preferred this POV only heightened the difficulty that I had with the body horror POV.
I think that this book does a brilliant job of showing how scary and isolating pregnancy and new parenthood can be as well as touching on the way that feminine health concerns may be undermined. There is clearly an over-arching theme of post-natal depression and psychosis, particularly when the birthing parent does not have a supportive system around them. I think being able to see more of who the characters were prior to the events of the book would have helped reinforce the messaging and created the necessary contrast to heighten the horror of the changes that are experienced.
I do not regret picking up this book and would definitely read from this author again.
This was a very enjoyable read and I was hooked on this novel from the start. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next and flipped through the chapters. This is one that I would recommend.
Haunting and affecting, Graveyard of Lost Children shines a light on postpartum depression and psychosis through a decidedly horror lens, making for a truly frightening and heartbreaking reading experience.
When Olivia was four months old, her mother Shannon became convinced Olivia was a changeling -- that her real daughter had been stolen by a black-haired woman, and that the only way to get her back would be to throw the changeling into a well. Now, decades after her mother nearly murdered her, Olivia and her wife have just welcomed their first baby. But Olivia isn't feeling the way she expected to feel. Instead of basking in the rosy glow of new motherhood, Olivia is exhausted, filled with dread and frustration. Soon, her nightmares are plagued with images of a black-haired woman -- a woman who begins to haunt the corners of her real life. And as her daughter nurses insatiably and stares at her with bottomless black eyes, Olivia becomes convinced that maybe this baby isn't her daughter at all. Maybe her real daughter has been stolen, replaced by an imposter...
Told on multiple timelines from the points-of-view of both Olivia and Shannon, Graveyard of Lost Children is an intricately-plotted, thought-provoking novel of psychological horror. The structure of the novel allows us to follow both Olivia and Shannon as their conditions worsen, exploring the generational impact of trauma through their parallel journeys. I found myself more invested in the present-day timeline with Olivia -- some of Shannon's sections felt a bit muddled and I occasionally lost my footing in her narrative -- but both timelines are vitally important to the story Katrina Monroe is telling. So many aspects of motherhood are so scary -- I think most mothers would agree -- and in this book, Monroe has personified some of a mother's worst fears. It's creepy and disturbing and bleak, intense and emotionally profound -- a unique and powerful depiction of postpartum depression and psychosis.
If you enjoy horror with motherhood themes, Graveyard of Lost Children is a complex and frightening novel to add to your TBR. Recommended for readers who enjoyed books like Little Darlings, Baby Teeth, and The Push.
This is the first book I read by Katrina Monroe and I really enjoyed it! The atmosphere was very unsettling, and as someone who is choosing to not have children, the plot really unnerved me. It did take me a decent amout of the book to start understanding who's POV I was following because the voices of the two women are so similar. That didn't necessarily lower my enjoyment but I was confused for about a quarter of the novel. My biggest complaint is that we don't get all the answers, but that is definitely just a personal preference in this case. I would've loved to have another 100 pages so I could fully understand who the villian is and what they are. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it's pushing me to go back and read the author's backlist.
𝔾𝕣𝕒𝕧𝕖𝕪𝕒𝕣𝕕 𝕠𝕗 𝕃𝕠𝕤𝕥 ℂ𝕙𝕚𝕝𝕕𝕣𝕖𝕟
Olivia’s grandmother raised her after her mom tried to kill her. She was sure Olivia had been switched with another baby, and she needed to get her baby back.
Now, Olivia has just given birth. Will she walk in her mother’s shoes?
This is such an interesting and psychologically gritting story. It hits on mental health, post-partum depression, and family secrets. It also represents the LGBTQ community as Olivia and her wife are trying to figure out what is happening after the birth of their daughter throws life into a tailspin.
I love the aspect that keeps the reader wondering if it is post-partum depression, mental illness, or real life. A black-haired woman appears near Olivia and the baby throughout the story. Is she real? Is she just a figment of Olivia’s imagination? Or is a mental illness causing her to hallucinate? There is so much to think about as you read and try to figure out what is happening to Olivia. I couldn’t get enough!
There is an eeriness to this story that I love! Bringing in the unknown always grabs my attention and keeps it. There is much to consider as you learn more about Olivia’s past. Graveyard of Lost Children is fast-paced, dramatic, emotional, and makes you question what is real.
~Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing this ebook for me to read and review.
There was so much to enjoy and appreciate here - the themes of postpartum depression and changelings, and the queer relationship. I really enjoyed it, though I didn’t 100% connect with it.
I really enjoyed Graveyard of the Forgotten Children, which is an intense psychological and supernatural horror that explores the depths of a mother's loneliness as well as terror associated with it. The novel's fast-paced and character-driven plot follows Olivia, a new mother whose mind and body begin to deteriorate as she grapples with caring for herself, her new baby, and dealing with her family's traumatic past. It was suspenseful and constantly had me on the edge of my seat, excitedly turning each page.
Oh my goodness. This story was creepy and dark, and explores post partum depression and mental illness. It is a gripping story and you won’t soon forget it.
Many thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Graveyard of Lost Children
Author: Katina Monroe
I requested a digital advanced readers copy from NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press and providing my opinion voluntarily and unbiased.
Synopsis: ONCE SHE HAS HER GRIP ON YOU, SHE'LL NEVER LET YOU GO.
At four months old, Olivia Dahl was almost murdered. Driven by haunting visions, her mother became obsessed with the idea that Olivia was a changeling, and that the only way to get her real baby back was to make a trade with the "dead women" living at the bottom of the well. Now Olivia is ready to give birth to a daughter of her own…and for the first time, she hears the women whispering.
Everyone tells Olivia she should be happy. She should be glowing, but the birth of her daughter only fills Olivia with dread. As Olivia's body starts giving out, slowly deteriorating as the baby eats and eats and eats, she begins to fear that the baby isn't her daughter at all and, despite her best efforts, history is repeating itself. Soon images of a black-haired woman plague Olivia's nightmares, drawing her back to the well that almost claimed her life—tying mother and daughter together in a desperate cycle of fear and violence that must be broken if Olivia has any hope of saving her child…or herself.
My Thoughts: This story was a dark, creepy, disturbing thriller. It focuses on a new mother, the realizations of new motherhood, and the fear that can come about from being a new mother. This is more character driven than plot driven. Olivia, our MC, is struggling to adjuster to new motherhood, and her mind and body begins to suffer as she struggles with self-care, taking care of her new baby, and her traumatic past. The story is part thriller and part supernatural, and all dark.
This story is narrated in two timelines, primarily from Olivia whom just had a baby, and voice of her mother. I did appreciate that the author delineated between the two timelines, so you had a clear understanding which timeline you were reading. However, some of the parts appeared to be repetitive. Postpartum depression is a mental illness and the significant backbone to this story, and I could appreciate how the author presents this in a raw, unfiltered way, and the devastating consequences of not receiving the help when needed. Olivia’s character was developed well and our mysterious black hair woman had the right amount of creepiness.
This is a creepy, chilling read and I would recommend to other readers. The twisted spin on this novel is portraying postpartum depression as a horror tale. While this disorder is very real and very disabling, it gives a unique physical spin on it.
I had to DNF this book unfortunately!
I feel bad because I think a lot of other people enjoy this book, but the first 10% was a little too much for me and I couldn't finish it. I think it is important to discuss postpartum depression and how it may be difficult to be a mother but I think this wasn't the book for me.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
This was a really well written psychological thriller. I have read a lot of books that deal with new motherhood and postpartum psychosis and depression. This book was an interesting take on that subject and parts were downright creepy and unsettling!
The addition of the black haired woman was very effective as a supernatural element to the story as well as a physical representation of postpartum depression. I liked the two POVs: Olivia and her mother. Both dealing with the questions all new mothers face: is my baby normal? Does my baby love me? Why don’t I connect with my child? Where is my new mom glow? I could easily relate to all the questions and even the fears that come with a newborn.
This was a gripping tale that left me feeling creeped out! I did appreciate the author note about trigger warnings in the beginning of the book
I read Katrina Monroe’s book, They Drown Their Daughters last year and it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Still, when I read the synopsis for this book I was willing to give her another try.
What I did like-
*The fact that this is a psychological thriller with elements of horror- the black haired woman trope is effective and chilling. *The mental health and psychological aspects which were disturbing and also keep the reader in the dark as to what is real and what is imagined. *The use of motherhood as a vehicle for horror. We’re seeing a lot of this lately and I’m loving it.
What I didn’t like-
*The dual timelines, which I usually love, but unfortunately in this one the present day narrative was much more compelling and I found myself wanting to skip over the parts set in the past. *And finally, the inability to really connect to the characters. I had the same problem with her other novel and still can’t quite figure out why it’s not working for me. So, overall a mixed bag for me. Thanks to @netgalley and @poisonedpenpress for an e-arc of this book.