Title: Baby Teeth
Author: Zoje Stage
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Source: Free ARC from St. Martin’s Press
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Review: This book reminded me a great deal of We Need to Talk About Kevinby Lionel Shriver. The premise is definitely similar: a mother who has postponed her career to be a stay-at-home mom is left dealing with a “difficult” child, while the father turns a blind eye to the dark side of his child. That is, until he can’t anymore.
As much I don’t like to write comparative reviews, I find it impossible to think about Baby Teethwithout thinking about We Need to Talk About Kevin. If you have read it, you likely found We Need to Talk About Kevindisturbing, maybe even deeply so. I’d say Baby Teethis more unsettling than disturbing. A rather light version, a version where different choices are made earlier on leading to rather different results.
It’s hard to say what is the most unsettling element of this book. Is it this devious child who reflects some of our worst fears, her thoughts of Suzette, whose motherly feelings wane as her fear of her child increases, or the father’s inability or unwillingness to see what was right before his eyes, denying his spouse support, and his child help, until it’s almost too late? All three and then some, I’d say.
Despite its similarities to We Need to Talk About Kevin, it stands on its own two feet, taking a different tack. I definitely enjoyed it. If you like dark, suspenseful, emotionally challenging books, Baby Teethis a great choice. If you’ve read We Need to Talk About Kevinby Lionel Shriver and enjoyed it, this book might be a good fit for you as well.