A good mother. Or a good liar?
17-year-old Lily is mama’s girl, mama’s doll. Every evening she pours Mama a glass of perfectly spoilt orange juice. She arranges her teddy bears on teh bed, just so. She reapplies the yellow make-up that Mama likes her to wear. But Mama’s love flies so close to hate. And as her behaviour escalates, as she starts to unravel, so do the memories that Lily has kept locked away for so long…
She only wanted to be good, to piece Mama back together. But what if instead… Lily could tear her apart?
When we first meet Lily, we see an obedient daughter who anticipates her mother’s every wish. She seems to dote on her in a way is surely not healthy. She prepares her food just the way she likes it, reorganises her wardrobe and soothes her when she is angry. But Mama is angry too often, and violent, and nasty.
I’ve read a lot of thrillers featuring strained relationships between mothers and daughters, but this really is something else.
This dark, psychological thriller is a real page-turner. King’s characters are unbelievably complex, in ways that they don’t always understand themselves, and interactions within the family are unstable, stirring up an volatile cocktail of emotions and memories. This is an edgy, twisty thriller of the highest calibre. I really hope that Ella King is working on her next thriller – this is an author worth looking out for!
Thank you to Harper Fiction and NetGalley UK for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
‘Bad Fruit’ is due to be published on 18th August 2022.