Mothered: A Novel Spiral-Bound | March 1, 2023
Mothered: A Novel
From the USA Today bestselling author of the international sensation Baby Teeth comes a claustrophobic psychological thriller about one woman’s nightmarish spiral while quarantined with her mother.
Grace isn’t exactly thrilled when her newly widowed mother, Jackie, asks to move in with her. They’ve never had a great relationship, and Grace likes her space—especially now that she’s stuck at home during a pandemic. Then again, she needs help with the mortgage after losing her job. And maybe it’ll be a chance for them to bond—or at least give each other a hand.
But living with Mother isn’t for everyone. Good intentions turn bad soon after Jackie moves in. Old wounds fester; new ones open. Grace starts having nightmares about her disabled twin sister, who died when they were kids. And Jackie discovers that Grace secretly catfishes people online—a hobby Jackie thinks is unforgivable.
When Jackie makes an earth-shattering accusation against her, Grace sees it as an act of revenge, and it sends her spiraling into a sleep-deprived madness. As the walls close in, the ghosts of Grace’s past collide with a new but familiar threat: Mom.
“Compelling.…This disturbing yet addictive read will keep you wondering what is real and what is madness.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Stage thrusts dread upon readers from her book’s first sentences and continues to escalate the tension with every page. A great choice for fans of intense psychological horror where nothing can be trusted and no one can look away from the emerging nightmare.” —Library Journal
“Each of Stage’s books explores the dark side of family bonds, all in their own extraordinary way. This one lays bare the true horror inherent in fables and folklore, and what Pandora lets out of her box seems negligible compared to what Grace unleashes.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Utterly harrowing…masterful.” —Criminal Element
“Ms. Stage's narration is a superbly navigated exercise in the lives of those we meet...[her] storytelling is powerful enough to force you to shift around in your seat because of how she is able to shed light on her characters' deepest horrors: the truth.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Stage is a master at drafting suspenseful scenes…” —Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle
“Mothered is disturbing in the best possible way. A dark and unsettling thriller that had me glued to the pages. This is Stage’s best work yet—horrifying and brilliant.” —Lucinda Berry, bestselling author of The Perfect Child and Under Her Care
“Zoje Stage expertly explores the blurred lines between memory and nightmare in this deliciously twisty and riveting page-turner. An eerily crafted chiller set against the claustrophobic isolation of the pandemic, Mothered is a must-read for psychological thriller fans. No one chronicles the complicated, sometimes perilous intensity of mother-daughter relationships like Stage. Absorbing, unsettling, and magnetic—don’t miss this dark gem of a novel.” —Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Overnight Guest
“Zoje Stage’s Mothered sent me on an intense, visceral ride. Stage’s straightforward writing easily paints the initial picture we all went through, life screeching to a halt during the quarantine. But while that initial familiarity and instant connection with the protagonist, Grace, hooked me, the story quickly veered in an unfamiliar direction. As Grace’s anxiety and instability rose, my own claustrophobic sensation grew, and I found myself flipping the pages, needing to know what happens next. The underlying mystery of Grace and Jackie’s history kept me captivated and unsettled until the book’s end.” —Mike Omer, New York Times bestselling author of A Killer’s Mind