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  • Location: Suffolk, London

Stone Mothers

Stone Mothers

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: What kind of secrets does the old Nazareth Mental Hospital hold?

  • ISBN: 978-1444797312
  • Genre: Psychological

What you need to know before your trail

Marianne was seventeen when she fled her home, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried.

Now, forced to return, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built; the husband and daughter who must never know.

Even if it means turning to her worst enemy…

But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.

Locations

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Travel Guide

Suffolk

Most of the novel takes place in rural Suffolk in and around the former Nazareth Mental Hospital which of course, is fictional. There are mentions of a town called Nusstead deep in the valley and Nusstead Halt station. The couple eat at a pub and hotel in Eye, a town which is also fictional. Other scenes of their former life is set in and around London as part of the backstory.

Nazareth mental hospital

“When I was little, Nazareth Hospital was the local haunted house.”

For a place which is fictional, it’s clear that the author has done a great deal of research and taken care and attention to get the feel and the sense of foreboding that an asylum of this kind would have.

” Viewed from above, the main building looks like the blade of a key with large square teeth running its length.”

Even if you have never been inside a mental hospital, you get more than a sense of such a place, you feel as if you are inside the walls, smell the air, hear the ghosts of the past. Imagining then living in a flat renovated from this place?

“Nazareth Hospital, or the East Anglia Pauper Lunatic Asylum as it originally was, wasn’t designed to be viewed up close like this but as a whole from a distance, whether you were being admitted to it or whether it was one last haunted look over your shoulder as you left or ran away.”

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

An old mental hospital whose ghosts still linger years after the doors have closed. And one woman who grew up in the shadow of the hospital, who now lives in the renovated flats there, thanks to her husband. She wants to be close to her mother who is ill, but she never expected to be inside these walls or back in this town.

This is not a ghost story but there are plenty of them floating about in the walls and in the minds of the characters. An old mental hospital comes with its associated faint screams, moans and tragic stories anyway, so to live in renovated flats there, from someone who feels the ghosts of the past anyway..

The novel was one of foreboding and dread throughout and it made for a compelling read. It’s a novel which builds and builds and creeps up on you making you feel really uneasy and unsettled. I read this over Halloween and during the dark nights and boy did that ramp things up!

What was particularly gripping – apart from the plot and the characters of course – was the level of insight and information about the way mental hospitals used to work and how mental health was viewed years ago. Quite recently when you think about it, and that is scary in itself.

There were lots of Erin Kelly moments – one where you want to high five the woman for writing. And little snippets of information such as why we use the phrase ‘She’s going round the bend” to suggest madness, and why Stone Mothers is the clever title it is.

There’s not really any locations in TheBookTrail sense although the fictional mental hospital is more than enough to make you feel immersed in this place.

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Stone Mothers

Destination: Suffolk, London Author/guide: Erin Kelly Departure Time: 2000s

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