Little Darlings

Melanie Golding







 Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting . . .

After a traumatic birth, Lauren is alone on the maternity ward with her newborn twins. Her husband has gone home. The nurses are doing their rounds. She can’t stop thinking about every danger her babies now face. But all new mothers think like that.

Don’t they?

A terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves Lauren convinced someone or something is trying to steal her children. But with every step she takes to keep her babies safe, Lauren sinks deeper and deeper into paranoia and fear.

From the stark loneliness of returning home after birth, to the confines of a psychiatric unit, Lauren’s desperation increases as no one will listen to her.

But here’s the question: is she mad, or does she know something we don’t?

Loosely inspired by the ghostly folktale The Brewery of Eggshells, where a mother becomes convinced her twins are in danger, Little Darlings offers a fresh perspective on modern motherhood, postnatal psychosis and the roles women play.

It has always been thus: folk tales do not spring from whimsy; they warn us and teach us.

And speak to the fear in us all.


Little Darlings is full of stomach-turning moments that touch on our deepest, most instinctive fears and fairy tales. Tense, spooky scenes arise from everyday materials… The vivid, visceral descriptions of early motherhood are realistic, which makes the novel’s fairy tale elements even more believable.

Foreword Reviews, (starred)
Foreword Reviews , (starred)

Little Darlings is brilliant—beautifully written, disturbing and deliciously creepy.

Roz Watkins, author of The Devil’s Dice
Roz Watkins , author of The Devil’s Dice

Little Darlings is the perfect marriage of taut psychological thriller and nail-biting horror. A changeling-inspired page-turner of note with a highly satisfying ending, it'll stay with you long after you've read it. I loved it and can't wait to see what Melanie Golding does next.

Sarah Lotz, author of The White Road
Sarah Lotz , author of The White Road

Little Darlings is a twisty, chilling exploration of the dark side of motherhood, brilliantly told by a debut author whose skill is evident from the first page. Any parent – any human, for that matter – will have a hard time putting this book down once they start.

Brad Parks, international bestselling author of The Last Act
Brad Parks , international bestselling author of The Last Act

Melanie Golding tells the truth about motherhood like no other writer since Sylvia Plath. Rich and satisfying, this is part who-done-it, part fairy tale, part psychological thriller. It delivers on all fronts and will continue to rattle you, long after you have put it down.

Felicity Everett, author of The People at Number 9
Felicity Everett , author of The People at Number 9

Ingenious, chilling, and completely absorbing, Little Darlings is destined to be the hit of 2019. The scariest book I have read in many years.

A.J. Banner, bestselling author of The Good Neighbour
A.J. Banner , bestselling author of The Good Neighbour

Dark, richly evocative, tense and thought-provoking. Taps into every woman's fear that she will not be believed

Mel McGrath, author of Give Me the Child
Mel McGrath , author of Give Me the Child

Viscerally creepy and compelling - a contemporary dark fairy tale that reeled me in like tales of old.

Angela Clarke, author of Follow Me
Angela Clarke , author of Follow Me

Dark, compelling and terrifyingly relatable, Little Darlings takes every parent’s worst fear and deftly twists it into something even more horrific. It will have you checking every shadow for what you hope isn’t really there.

Megan Hart, New York Times bestselling author of All the Lies We Tell
Megan Hart , New York Times bestselling author of All the Lies We Tell

I love this book! Compelling from the first page to the very last, Golding took me by the hand and pulled me softly but persistently through mystery and myth . . . A masterfully-told story and a beautiful and nuanced work of art.

Susan Crawford, author of The Pocket Wife
Susan Crawford , author of The Pocket Wife

Chilling story, beautiful prose. Little Darlings is stunning

Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go
Clare Mackintosh , author of I Let You Go

Deep. Dark. Utterly addictive. I read this extraordinary book in one, breathless gulp. It touched me so deeply, it felt almost dangerous. At times I simply had to put the book down. But then I would pace - and pick it straight back up again. Be warned - you can't unread this story. It will haunt you.

Teresa Driscoll, author of I Am Watching You
Teresa Driscoll , author of I Am Watching You

Riveting, terrifying and at times heart-breaking, Little Darlings had me tip-toeing through my dark house at night to check on the children. Melanie Golding’s disturbing portrait of a new mother’s paranoia is superbly written, cleverly plotted and gruesomely beautiful in an unforgettable way. A stunning debut and a uniquely creepy premise.

Annie Ward, author of Beautiful Bad
Annie Ward , author of Beautiful Bad

A story that is in turn enthralling, creepy and downright sinister, Melanie Golding turns fairy tales on their heads in Little Darlings, making this one to watch out for in 2019. A brilliant, heart-pounding read.

Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me
Lisa Hall , author of Between You and Me


Upmarket Women's Fiction

UK Publication

HarperCollins / HQ, Spring 2019

US Publication

Crooked Lane, Spring 2019

Rights Sales

UK & Commonwealth: HarperCollins, HQ
US: Crooked Lane
Canadian: HarperCollins Canada
Film: Free Range
Croatian: 24 sata d.o.o
Czech: Ikar
German: HarperCollins Germany
Hungarian: General Press
Latvian: Zvaigzne
Portuguese (EU): Grupo Planeta
Slovak: Ikar
Turkish: Yabanci Yayinlari
Ukrainian: Vivat