Review: Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel

Author: Anne Heltzel
Publisher: Nightfire
Released: May 17, 2022
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Rape, child abuse, drugging, attempted suicide, forced impregnation, infant death (mentioned), infertility

3 kitties

Just Like Mother, by Anne Heltzel, is one part thriller and one-part horror. In other words, it’s the perfect combination of the two for readers that love a bit of thrill and chills! So obviously, I had to read it.

Maeve’s cousin managed to do the impossible: she ran away from the cult that raised her. Andrea cut herself off from nearly everything, and everyone – Maeve included- to protect herself. Or rather, that used to be the case.

Now Andrea is welcoming Maeve back into her life. Rather than finding this suspicious, Maeve jumps at the chance to have her best friend and cousin back in her life. Things quickly begin to take a strange turn, forcing Maeve to confront the ghosts of her past.

To say that Just Like Mother is a lot would be an understatement. This is not a book for everyone, as it has A LOT of trigger warnings (Warnings include: rape, child abuse, drugging, attempted suicide, forced impregnation, infant death, and infertility).

I know that horror novels aren’t always bright and sunny – they’re meant to have a darker side. Still, there were times that Just Like Mother felt like too much to me. Perhaps that is human, and thus Anne Heltzel did a fantastic job portraying this side of things? It’s hard to say.

What I can say is that the writing is solid. Heltzel does a fantastic job of building suspense, creating a situation that feels subtly off right from the start. With each scene, it became clearer that something was wrong. Why it was wrong took more work to suss out.

Thanks to Nightfire and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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