Thursday 28 July 2016

The Stepmother - Claire Seeber

The perfect wife. A fairytale family. Don’t believe your eyes…

Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.

No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.

And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.

But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.

Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.

After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending…doesn’t it? 

What did I think?

I may have mentioned in the past that my favourite fairy tale is Cinderella, but Snow White comes a close second.  The Stepmother is something of a modern fairy tale for grown-ups loosely based on Snow White, but with strange ghostly goings-on instead of cute little dwarfs.

Jeanie has had a tough life but she thinks her dreams have come true when she meets and marries Matthew, after a whirlwind romance.  Jeanie and her son, Frankie, move into Matthew's home which has an evil Queen style ornate mirror and its very own turret. Matthew has two children from his previous marriage: twins, Luke and Scarlett.  Scarlett's moods are as red as her name - she's very angry that her parents have split up and resents Jeanie moving into what was once their home.  Luke is more accepting and quiet on the outside, but is he more affected by his parents' split than we realise?

When strange things start to happen, all seemingly directed at Jeanie she feels her marriage crumbling before her eyes.  Jeanie has a secret (or two) hidden in her past and like many secrets, nothing ever stays buried for long.  As one of Jeanie's secrets is discovered, it is used against her and even Matthew doesn't side with her.  As Jeanie is mentally tortured, she starts to think that Matthew also has a few secrets hidden from her as the paranoia in The Stepmother reaches record levels.  As Jeanie's mind whirled with questions, I was eager to find out the answers too!  What really happened to his previous marriage?  What's behind the locked door?  Who is the woman whose post gets delivered to the house?  

The Stepmother kept me on my toes from start to finish; filled with secrets, lies and paranoia it's such a gripping read that I found difficult to put down.  I loved the links to Snow White: 'mirror, mirror on the wall', the good instead of evil step mother and the young beauty of the story being represented by red instead of white.  Hugely enjoyable, twisty and gripping: make sure you put The Stepmother on your list to read.

I received this e-book from the publisher, Bookouture, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

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