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Cover image for Baby teeth
Format:
Title:
Baby teeth
ISBN:
9781250170750
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2018.
Physical Description:
ix, 304 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
"Afflicted with a chronic debilitating condition, Suzette Jensen knew having children would wreak havoc on her already fragile body. Nevertheless, she brought Hanna into the world, pleased and proud to start a family with her husband Alex. Estranged from her own mother, Suzette is determined to raise her beautiful daughter with the love, care, and support she was denied. But Hanna proves to be a difficult child. Now seven-years-old, she has yet to utter a word, despite being able to read and write. Defiant and anti-social, she refuses to behave in kindergarten classes, forcing Suzette to homeschool her. Resentful of her mother's rules and attentions, Hanna lashes out in anger, becoming more aggressive every day. The only time Hanna is truly happy is when she's with her father. To Alex, she's willful and precocious but otherwise the perfect little girl, doing what she's told. Suzette knows her clever and manipulative daughter doesn't love her. She can see the hatred and jealousy in her eyes. And as Hanna's subtle acts of cruelty threaten to tear her and Alex apart, Suzette fears her very life may be in grave danger ..."-- Amazon.com.
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STAGE Zoje
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FICTION - STAGE
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FICTION - STAGE
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Stage, Z.
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FIC STAGE 2018
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FICTION STAGE
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Stage, Z.
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Stage, Z.
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On Order

Summary

Summary

One of Entertainment Weekly 's Must-Read Books for July | People Magazine's Book of the Week | One of Bustle's "Fifteen Books With Chilling Protagonists That Will Keep You Guessing" | One of PopSugar's "25 Must-Read Books That Will Make July Fly By!" | One of the "Biggest Thrillers of the Summer" -- SheReads | A Barnes and Noble Blog Best Thriller for July! | " New & Noteworthy" -- USA Today | " Summer 2018 Must-Read" -- Bookish | " One of 11 Crime Novels You Should Read in July" -- Crime Reads | " Best Summer Reads for 2018" -- Publishers Weekly

"Gripping" -- InStyle
"Propulsive." -- New York Times Book Review
" A wholly original and terrifically creepy story." -- Refinery29
"A twisty, delirious read" -- EntertainmentWeekly.com
"A deliciously creepy read." -- New York Post

MEET HANNA: Seven-year-old Hanna is a sweet-but-silent angel in the eyes of her adoring father Alex. He's the only person who understands her. But her mother Suzette stands in her way, and she'll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

MEET SUZETTE: Suzette loves her daughter, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. She's also becoming increasingly frightened by Hanna's little games, while her husband Alex remains blind to the failing family dynamics. Soon, Suzette starts to fear that maybe their supposedly innocent baby girl may have a truly sinister agenda.
A battle of wills between mother and daughter reveals the frailty and falsehood of familial bonds in award-winning playwright and filmmaker Zoje Stage's tense novel of psychological suspense, Baby Teeth.

"Unnerving and unputdownable, Baby Teeth will get under your skin and keep you trapped in its chilling grip until the shocking conclusion." -- New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline

" We Need to Talk About Kevin meets Gone Girl meets The Omen ...a twisty, delirious read that will constantly question your sympathies for the two characters as their bond continues to crumble." -- Entertainment Weekly

"A pulse-spiking thriller." -- PopSugar


Author Notes

Zoje Stage lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Baby Teeth is her first novel.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Stage's deviously fun debut takes child-rearing anxiety to demented new heights. Frustrated and fragile stay-at-home mom Suzette and seven-year-old Hanna alternately narrate a cascade of crises stemming from Hanna's near-total refusal to speak, her mistrust of her mom and adoration of her dad, and the parents' frantic attempts to find a solution to Hanna's increasingly dangerous tantrums. From Hanna's perspective, Suzette is the only thing standing in the way of the complete devotion of her father, Alex, and she plots ways to "step up her game against Mommy." For Suzette, her love-starved relationship with a distant mother and chronic Crohn's haunt every attempt to bond with a little girl who barks like a "feral animal" and only speaks as a 17th-century girl named Marie-Anne Dufosset, who was burned at the stake for suspected witchcraft. For the besieged Suzette, there's also a troubling ambivalence about whether she wants to save or kill her disturbed child. Stage expertly crafts this creepy, can't-put-it-down thriller into a fearless exploration of parenting and marriage that finds the cracks in unconditional love. 100,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Sarah Bedginfield, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

A mute, diabolical 7-year-old wages war against her mother in this chilling debut.Hanna Jensen has never spoken aloud in front of another human being. Her parents, Alex and Suzette, have subjected her to scores of tests, fearing a physical disability, but in truth, Hanna simply finds words to be an ugly means of expression and chooses not to use them. Hanna also knows that her silence anguishes her mother, which is an added bonus; although Hanna adores her father, who believes she can do no wrong, she despises Suzette and torments her at every turn. Hanna has been expelled from three preschools and two kindergartens for bad behavior, forcing Suzette to home-school heran arrangement that further strains their fraught relationship. The constant stress is wreaking havoc on Suzette's health, so she redoubles her efforts to locate a school that will accept her troubled child. But as Suzette dreams of child-free days, Hanna is making plans of her own. This tightly plotted, expertly choreographed tale unfolds in alternating chapters from the perspectives of Hanna and Suzette. Author Stage palpably conveys Suzette's fear, anger, frustration, and desperation while exploring the deleterious effects that motherhood can have on one's marriage and self-worth. Hanna's chapters are calm and upbeat by comparison, but they offer no respite from the book's mounting tension; nave observations and whimsical fantasies share the page with twisted musings and nefarious schemes, the jarring juxtaposition only compounding the reader's sense of unease.Stage fuses horror with domestic suspense to paint an unflinching portrait of childhood psychopathy and maternal regret. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Literature has a dark sorority of bad, creepy, and cruel girls, which now includes seven-year-old Hanna Hansen. Hanna is mute, and there is not a test known to modern medicine that can discern why. In the eyes of her father, she is a silent and sweet little angel. When he is not around, Hanna consciously makes her mother Suzette's life a living hell. They engage in a battle of wits that rivals Rosemary's Baby once the psychotic Hanna decides that her body has become inhabited by a medieval witch. Or, perhaps, she truly ispossessed. Doesn't matter. What follows is a totally engaging and unnerving read. Suzette fights back in a way that Eva, Kevin's mother in Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk about Kevin (2003), did not, grappling with her own serious health issues as well as a husband in denial and a daughter who wants her dead. Debut novelist Stage has convincingly created one of the youngest villains ever, and readers who appreciate such creepy tykes as Shriver's Kevin and Doris Lessing's Ben (in The Fifth Child, 1988) will be unable to resist the urge to meet Hanna.--Murphy, Jane Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal Review

DEBUT In this deliciously creepy thriller, seven-year-old Hanna silently connives to kill her mother so she can have dear daddy all to herself. Stay-at-home mom Suzette longed for a little girl she could connect with and dote on. Instead, almost from birth, Hanna is emotionally detached and silent. After ruling out cognitive disabilities, autism, and a hearing disability, -Suzette and Alex come to accept Hanna's silence as a quirk she'll one day outgrow. But while Hanna is all smiles and hugs when Alex comes home, during the daytime, it's a -battle of wills between mother and daughter. Alex fails to see or acknowledge Hanna's vindictive, destructive, and increasingly violent behavior. Experiencing a mix of guilt, anger, and anxiety about her parenting, Suzette also struggles with the daily pain and unpredictability of Crohn's disease, which is described with visceral authenticity. The author keeps the suspense taut by alternating chapters between Hanna and Suzette, offering a terrifying glimpse into the inner thoughts of a budding sociopath. VERDICT This twisty first novel has been aptly compared to The Omen and Lionel Shiver's We Need To Talk About Kevin, which is especially apparent in Stage's exploration of the dark side of modern motherhood. A first purchase where suspenseful and offbeat psychological thrillers circulate well.-Kiera Parrott, LJS © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.