Anne Heltzel’s Just Like Mother—a spine-chilling debut about women linked by a horrific past and the overwhelming pressure to conform to society’s expectations for their bodies—will be published by Nightfire in January 2022!
Maeve has struggled to achieve normalcy since a violent incident involving the cult she was raised in shattered her childhood and stole away her cousin, Andrea, the only true friend she’s ever known. So when Andrea reappears in her life decades later, Maeve is thrilled. She doesn’t even mind that Andrea’s world of wealth, amassed from a successful but secretive start-up, is vastly different from her own. Andrea is family, and has always known how to put Maeve at ease.
So when Maeve’s careful routine in New York City begins to unravel, it feels only natural that she move into Andrea’s palatial Catskills home. There she meets Andrea’s husband and suffers the attention of their friends and business associates, Rob and Emily, who constantly evangelize about coupledom, marriage, and motherhood. But behind the influencer lifestyle and perfect facade lurks a nefarious agenda that was set in motion when Maeve was a child. Will Maeve ever escape her past? Or will she end up just like Mother?
Here’s what Kelly Lonesome, senior editor at Nightfire, has to say about Just Like Mother:
“I was immediately captivated by this dark, twisty story and by Anne’s incredible voice. Just Like Mother is at turns a chilling account of insidious gaslighting, an atmospheric isolation story, and a suspenseful examination of expectations for women. Anne really captures the body horror and creeping, existential dread that comes from being a woman trying to survive within today’s society, and she focuses on those who are often erased from the narrative. There’s so much crossover appeal for horror fans and psychological thriller readers alike, and I can’t wait to share it with readers!”
And from Anne Heltzel herself:
“Just Like Mother was born of my own ambivalence toward having children during a time when many of my close friends were beginning to build families. There are inherent tensions that arise among women who are trying to conceive with varying degrees of success. Then there’s the feeling of being a misfit in a society that doesn’t quite know what to do with the single, childless woman. Horror felt like a natural vehicle for exploring the more terrifying aspects of fertility, womanhood, and personal agency.”
Anne Heltzel is an author and executive editor at ABRAMS Books. She lives and writes in Brooklyn. Find out more at anneheltzel.com.
Just Like Mother will hit shelves in January 2022!