By: Nora Murphy
Narrators: Dylan Moore, Lee Osorio Macmillan Audio
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: 05/30/2023
Format: e-book and audio
My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)
From Nora Murphy, author of The Favor, The New Mother is both relatable and nerve-wracking, sympathetic and bone-chilling― a fresh new twist on motherhood and murder in suburbia.
Isolated. Lonely. Tired. It's hard being The New Mother. Sometimes it's murder.
Nothing is simple about being a new mom alone in a new house, especially when your baby is colicky. Natalie Fanning loves her son unconditionally, but being a mother was not all she wanted to be.
Enter Paul, the neighbor.
Paul provides the lifeline she needs in what feels like the most desperate of times. When Paul is helping with Oliver, calmed by his reassuring, steady presence, Nat feels like she can finally rest.
But Paul wants something in return. It’s no coincidence that he has befriended Nat―she is the perfect pawn for his own plan. Will Nat wake up in time to see it?
Nora Murphy returns following her smashing debut, The Favor, with her latest twisty, gripping suspense—THE NEW MOTHER, when a young suburban mother gets caught up in a sinister game of murder.
It wasn't the sort of neighborhood for murder. Yet that was precisely what had brought her here —Detective Jill West. So we know something menacing and sinister is coming.
They had neighborhood watches, doorbell cameras, security systems, and where the parents felt safe allowing their children to ride their bikes with their friends.
Natalie is a new mom in her thirties, sleep-deprived, and caring for her young son, Oliver. She breastfeeds, and it seems her baby will not sleep unless she holds him. She is exhausted.
Tyler, her husband, gets to go to the office. She envies him. He is an attorney; she was also an attorney and put her career on hold before the baby. She wishes she could get dressed and speak to adults. But she tried it, and it failed —too much with the baby, the breastfeeding, his schedule, lack of sleep, and stresses. (plus other things).
Natalie feels isolated, lonely, and tired. She is depressed, exhausted, and sleep deprived. Her husband is of little help.
Then enter the neighbor, a stay-at-home dad, Paul Riley, a former college professor. He is a Godsend! He is great to talk with and good with Oliver. He listens to her problems and always gets Oliver quiet. He is her new best friend!
Paul's daughter, Petra, is ten and in school. He seems like a caring father and husband. Yet he still is at home, married to a wealthy woman that controls him. He is supposed to be writing a novel but failed to produce anything. His wife is tightening the reins on him. He would like to get rid of her.
Even though Natalie thinks Paul is her friend, he has different plans for her. He has alternative motives —she will be just a pawn in his devious game.
When someone winds up dead, and Natalie is a suspect, she must dig deep to find the strength to save herself and her son.
Told in four parts to the Epilogue, where all is wrapped up. The author gets into the devious mind of Paul, and parts are dark and witty. I appreciated the author writing an honest Author's Note about her experience to share with other mothers and a list of resources.
THE NEW MOTHER is a spine-chilling game of cat and mouse, with manipulation and gaslighting. Paul's character was so deceiving, and could see how a sleep-deprived mother could get pulled into his web of deceit.
The author does a fantastic job of creating a claustrophobic atmosphere —and the many struggles of a new mother— mental health, postpartum depression, and psychosis with compassion and sensitivity. Any mother will appreciate this book.
Murphy, a new mother herself and lawyer, knows the ins and outs of new motherhood apparent in the novel.
We all remember those days when our babies would not sleep. I was young, age 20 and 21 when mine were born —my two sons were only 18 mos apart, and neither was a sleeper. My mom told me it was PAYBACK because I never slept, driving her nuts. (I still have insomnia).
I was fortunate to read the e-book and listen to the audiobook narrated by Dylan Moore and Lee Osorio for an engaging performance for both voices. Highly recommend the audio.
I can't wait to see what the talented author comes up with next!
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pub Date: May 30, 2023
Domestic Abuse at its Finest! 5 STARS
Nora Murphy will keep you turning pages long past your bedtime with her smashing debut, THE FAVOR! A winner out of the gate. I could not tear myself away from this one. A top 2022 debut, she will be an author to follow for years to come. I cannot wait to see what comes next.
Two women, strangers, have more in common than they know.
Taut, exceptionally smart, addictive, and highly entertaining! I LOVED THIS ONE.
A superb character study and the author gets into the minds of her characters as they come alive on the pages. I was glued to the pages and rooting for these women. For fans of B.A. Paris and Kimberly Belle. READ MORE
About the Author
NORA MURPHY attended law school in Washington, D.C., then worked as a judicial law clerk before transitioning to private practice. During law school, she participated in two clinics through which she represented and studied the issues facing survivors of intimate partner violence. A practicing attorney, Nora writes as much as she can, usually long before the sunrise or on her phone for brief moments when the inspiration strikes. Nora resides in Maryland with her husband, young son, and five rescue pets. When she’s not working, writing, or chasing her toddler, Nora can be found contemplating her next ice cream run or reading. The Favor is her first novel. The New Mother is new second novel, coming May 30, 2023 by Minotaur Books. WEBSITE