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My Darling Girl

de Jennifer McMahon

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1674163,313 (3.9)2
Fiction. Horror. Literature. Thriller. HTML:The New York Times bestselling author of the "otherworldly treat" (People) The Drowning Kind and The Children on the Hill returns with a spine-tingling psychological thriller about a woman who, after taking in her dying, alcoholic mother, begins to suspect demonic possession is haunting her family.
Alison has never been a fan of Christmas. But with it right around the corner and her husband busily decorating their cozy Vermont home, she has no choice but to face it. Then she gets the call.

Mavis, Alison's estranged mother, has been diagnosed with cancer and has only weeks to live. She wants to spend her remaining days with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. But Alison grew up with her mother's alcoholism and violent abuse and is reluctant to unearth these traumatic memories. Still, she eventually agrees to take in Mavis, hoping that she and her mother could finally heal and have the relationship she's always dreamed of.

But when mysterious and otherworldly things start happening upon Mavis's arrival, Alison begins to suspect her mother is not quite who she seems. And as the holiday festivities turn into a nightmare, she must confront just how far she is willing to go to protect her family.
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Es mostren totes 4
My Darling Girl by Jennifer McMahon might occur over the winter holidays, but it is the perfect spooky read for October. The trace of otherworldliness existing at the fringes of Mavis' relationship with Allison is enough to give you goosebumps. Meanwhile, the lingering questions about Mavis' true identity will haunt you long after you finish it.

One of the reasons Ms. McMahon is one of my go-to authors is how well she leaves her stories unanswered. She is a queen of creating doubt within her readers. Most of her novels have elements of the supernatural in them. Except, you never know if they are truly supernatural in nature or a figment of an unreliable narrator's imagination. The doubt she creates sets Ms. McMahon's novels apart from her fellow writers.

In My Darling Girl, that doubt exists from the moment Mavis arrives at Allison's house. After all, Allison is the victim of childhood abuse, and she still seeks approval and love from her abuser. It would be easy to excuse what she sees as nothing more than PTSD. As her husband and friend suggest, the trauma of having her abuser in the house after all these years is a tremendous strain, and we know Allison never obtained the help she needs to heal from her past.

Yet, in Ms. McMahon fashion, Allison is a little too believable when it comes to her suspicions. The arguments she makes internally are good ones, convincing ones. You see what she sees, and what she sees is downright scary.

I love Ms. McMahon's novels, and My Darling Girl is no different. It has the right balance of creepy and sweet, surety and doubt, to leave you guessing. As for what the right answer is, that is up to each reader. But I would love to discuss it with you! ( )
  jmchshannon | Oct 9, 2023 |
Alison’s mother has been diagnosed with cancer. She wants to spend her last days with Alison and her family. Alison eventually says yes, but with an extreme amount of hesitation. There is so much trauma from her childhood and her abusive mother, Alison is torn on what is the right thing to do. And can she actually trust her mother to be around her children?

Well! My October has started strong! This book kept me on my toes! Let me tell you! Now, it is not going to be for everyone. And I am not a huge “horror” reader. I would not necessarily classify this as horror…I mean it is but it isn’t. You will have to read this to find out. I have read every single one of this author’s books and I have loved them all. She always has a “borderline” horror feel to her reads. So to say she is suspenseful is an understatement.

When this story started out, I was afraid I could not read it. It has some triggers that set off some childhood issues. But, as the story unfolded…I could not put it down. And the ending…GEEZ! Not to mention…THE DEMON! You heard me! THE DEMON!

Need a story that will rock your world…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review. ( )
  fredreeca | Oct 3, 2023 |
My Darling Girl by Jennifer McMahon is a very highly recommended psychological horror. I was afraid to keep reading but more scared not to find out what happened. This one had me start biting my nails.

Alison's mother, Mavis, could be loving but was also an abusive alcoholic and she still has the physical and mental scars to prove it. It is early December and the family is decorating the house when Mavis's assistant Paul calls to let Alison know her mother is dying from cancer and only has weeks to live. Despite her childhood trauma, Ali is cautiously optimistic that Mavis really wants to try to have a relationship with her family and say good-bye, so she agrees to open up her home to her mother. It quickly becomes clear that her mother is not always who she seems to be and Ali may need to protect her own family.

That Alison would open up her home to her mother after the horrific childhood experiences she endured, is amazing and commendable. Then, when she didn't immediately ship her mother off to a facility when odd things begin to happen is shocking, more so after she begins to suspect what is happening. Clearly Alison is a complex, fully realized character. Once she begins to suspect demonic possession is stalking her family, all bets are off.

The writing is obviously excellent, compelling, and engaging. (Picture someone reading peeking between their fingers, scared, but still actively reading because they need to know what happened next.) The story is chilling and heartbreaking. Alison must unpack her mother's secrets in order to understand what is happening and then she will also know what her response to it will be. But her mothers behavior and words are bone-chilling frightening and her true self, or the evil side, only seems to come out when Alison is around.

The pages fly by in this totally engrossing, eerie foreboding narrative that will hold readers complete attention throughout. Well done, Jennifer McMahon you've proven yet again that you are an exceptional writer!
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Gallery/Scout Press via NetGalley.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2023/09/my-darling-girl.html ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Sep 18, 2023 |
Thank you to Book Club Favorites at Simon & Schuster for the free copy for review.
This book is a psychological thriller about a woman possessed, or at least her daughter thinks she is. When Alison was growing up, her mother changed from a fun, loving mom, to a cruel and sadistic one. Now her mother is dying, and Alison and her husband Mark along with their 2 daughers, Isabella and Olivia, agree to have her come live with them. As her mother lashes out at Ali, Ali is convinced that a demon has possessed her mother.
This book was terrifying at times. The rat scene, the flies, the carvings, the nasty words, and the final scene -- all combine for a spine-tingling read. If you like psychological thrillers, this one is CREEPY! ( )
  rmarcin | Aug 31, 2023 |
Es mostren totes 4
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For every mother and daughter who know just how complicated it can be
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Thirty-seven years ago

"Ali Alligator?" my mother whispered as she crept into my room, slipped under my heavy quilt, cuddled up next to me on my twin bed. I was eight years old, a big girl, too old for mommy snuggles, but still, when she pressed her body against mine, I sighed with contentment and tucked myself right against her.
The angel was in a thousand tiny shards.

It had slipped from my hand and shattered before I even realized what had happened.

"Damn t," I muttered.

I was precariously balanced at the very top of the stepladder in the corner of the living room, where I'd been trying to hang it up. The clear glass angel hovered there in the shadows every year at Christmastime, watching over us as we trimmed the tree, sipped eggnog, sat through sappy Christmas movies, then oohed and squealed as presents were opened on Christmas Day; a strange, emotionless observer, a passive spy. -Chapter One
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Fiction. Horror. Literature. Thriller. HTML:The New York Times bestselling author of the "otherworldly treat" (People) The Drowning Kind and The Children on the Hill returns with a spine-tingling psychological thriller about a woman who, after taking in her dying, alcoholic mother, begins to suspect demonic possession is haunting her family.
Alison has never been a fan of Christmas. But with it right around the corner and her husband busily decorating their cozy Vermont home, she has no choice but to face it. Then she gets the call.

Mavis, Alison's estranged mother, has been diagnosed with cancer and has only weeks to live. She wants to spend her remaining days with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. But Alison grew up with her mother's alcoholism and violent abuse and is reluctant to unearth these traumatic memories. Still, she eventually agrees to take in Mavis, hoping that she and her mother could finally heal and have the relationship she's always dreamed of.

But when mysterious and otherworldly things start happening upon Mavis's arrival, Alison begins to suspect her mother is not quite who she seems. And as the holiday festivities turn into a nightmare, she must confront just how far she is willing to go to protect her family.

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