No Child of Mine

Dreamscape Media. Sept. 2023. 10:19 hrs. ISBN 9781666646337. $17.99. HORROR
Giraldes’s debut novel features a generation-spanning curse, but its real terror comes from the mundane. Essie Kaur has just bought a house with her husband, Sanjay. The young couple is looking forward to their new lives together until Essie gets the unexpected news that she is pregnant. Not overjoyed with the prospect, Essie tries to keep attending law school while battling morning sickness and the sudden, forceful rewrite of her life plans. But there’s also a curse hanging over Essie’s lineage, which could doom Sanjay and their burgeoning family before it’s even started. The story features two timelines, moving back and forth between Essie’s struggles in the modern world and Ana and Isabelle’s secret love in the past. While occasionally intriguing, the past narrative and its accompanying supernatural elements seem extraneous to the main plot and may draw some listeners out of the story. Narrators Mia Hutchinson-Shaw, Lauren Ezzo, and Lindsey Dorcus provide the three women with separate and distinct voices, but Essie’s struggles drive the story.
VERDICT Though Giraldes’s tale is sometimes dragged down by its ghosts, readers of domestic horror will likely respond to the depiction of an increasingly isolated expectant mother.
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