Nora Murphy | The New Mother

The Book: 

The New Mother by Nora Murphy
Published May 30, 2023 by Minotaur Books
Date read: May 7, 2023

The Characters: 


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The Plot (from Goodreads):

A relatable and nerve-wracking, sympathetic and bone-chilling story — a fresh new twist on motherhood and murder in suburbia.

Isolated. Lonely. Tired. It’s hard being The New Mother. Sometimes it’s murder.

Nothing is simple about being a new mom alone in a new house, especially when your baby is collicky. Natalie Fanning loves her son unconditionally, but being a mother was not all she wanted to be.

Enter Paul, the neighbor.

Paul provides the lifeline she needs in what feels like the most desperate of times. When Paul is helping with Oliver, calmed by his reassuring, steady presence, Nat feels like she can finally rest.

But Paul wants something in return. It’s no coincidence that he has befriended Nat—she is the perfect pawn for his own plan. Will Nat wake up in time to see it?

How did The New Mother end?

Click here for book spoilers for <em>The New Mother</em>
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The New Mother, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Paul killed his wife Erin and set about framing Natalie for the murder. Natalie caught on and planted the evidence back in Paul’s house. A lucky tip came in at just the right time that Paul had had a previous affair, so his house was searched again and the evidence was found in his possession.

The Ending:

Natalie realized she had postpartum psychosis and got help. She went back to work at a place with better work-life balance and reconciled with her husband, her best friend, and even her mother-in-law.

The Review: 

I don’t love thrillers about the postpartum mom as the unreliable narrator, whom no one believes because she’s just delirious from lack of sleep. With that in mind, I was wary as I started The New Mother, but I loved the author’s previous book so I figured I’d give it a try.

The pros: it certainly is a good story about postpartum depression and how hard it is to be a new mother, especially when one is so isolated and feels like their partner isn’t helping enough.

The cons: This didn’t feel much like a thriller, which is how it was marketed. The murder felt like an afterthought and there was no whodunit to uncover. The “crazy new mom” stereotype doesn’t work for me, although I did like the resolution in this case.

Although The New Mother wasn’t my favorite thriller, I still liked the message. I won’t write this author off!

Audio Review: These two narrators were both new to me, but I enjoyed both of their performances. I enjoy a cast of more than one narrator, and these two complicated each other well. The audio version was great!

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