Baby Teeth (Hardcover)
St. Martin's Press, 9781250170750, 320pp.
Publication Date: July 17, 2018
August 2018 Indie Next List
— Debra Barrett, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA
View the List
One of Entertainment Weekly’s Must-Read Books for July
People Magazine's Book of the Week
"Propulsive." —New York Times Book Review
One of Bustle's "Fifteen Books With Chilling Protagonists That Will Keep You Guessing"
“A wholly original and terrifically creepy story.” —Refinery29
One of PopSugar's "25 Must-Read Books That Will Make July Fly By!"
A Barnes and Noble Blog Best Thriller for July!
One of the "Biggest Thrillers of the Summer" —SheReads
“Summer 2018 Must-Read” —Bookish
“Best Summer Reads for 2018” —Publishers Weekly
“One of 11 Crime Novels You Should Read in July” —Crime Reads
“A twisty, delirious read” —EntertainmentWeekly.com
“New & Noteworthy” —USA Today
“A deliciously creepy read.” —New York Post
A battle of wills between mother and daughter reveals the frailty and falsehood of familial bonds in award-winning playwright and filmmaker Zoje Stage’s tense novel of psychological suspense, Baby Teeth.
Afflicted with a chronic debilitating condition, Suzette Jensen knew having children would wreak havoc on her already fragile body. Nevertheless, she brought Hanna into the world, pleased and proud to start a family with her husband Alex. Estranged from her own mother, Suzette is determined to raise her beautiful daughter with the love, care, and support she was denied.
But Hanna proves to be a difficult child. Now seven-years-old, she has yet to utter a word, despite being able to read and write. Defiant and anti-social, she refuses to behave in kindergarten classes, forcing Suzette to homeschool her. Resentful of her mother’s rules and attentions, Hanna lashes out in anger, becoming more aggressive every day. The only time Hanna is truly happy is when she’s with her father. To Alex, she’s willful and precocious but otherwise the perfect little girl, doing what she’s told.
Suzette knows her clever and manipulative daughter doesn’t love her. She can see the hatred and jealousy in her eyes. And as Hanna’s subtle acts of cruelty threaten to tear her and Alex apart, Suzette fears her very life may be in grave danger…
“Unnerving and unputdownable, Baby Teeth will get under your skin and keep you trapped in its chilling grip until the shocking conclusion.”—New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline
“We Need to Talk About Kevin meets Gone Girl meets The Omen...a twisty, delirious read that will constantly question your sympathies for the two characters as their bond continues to crumble.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A pulse-spiking thriller.”—PopSugar
About the Author
Praise For Baby Teeth: A Novel…
Named one of “Summer 2018’s Must-Read Mysteries & Thrillers” by Bookish
“Unnervingand unputdownable, BABY TEETH will get under your skin and keep you trapped in its chilling grip until the shocking conclusion.” —New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline
“Propulsive.” —The New York Times Book Review
“You might want to cover your eyes.” —Entertainment Weekly, “The Must List”
“A deliciously creepy read.” —New York Post
“Baby Teeth is a mesmerizing thriller that effectively taps into deep-seated anxieties that any parent will find uncomfortably familiar. Hard to put down and harder to forget, the book will delight readers looking for an escape over the summer.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A stay-at-home mom desperately tries to connect with her mute 7-year-old daughter, whose disturbing behavior continues to escalate in this gripping debut novel from an indie screenwriter.” —InStyle
“We bet that parents will find this novel particularly unsettling.” —Bookish
“Deliciously creepy…the author keeps the suspense taut…offering a terrifying glimpse into the inner thoughts of a budding sociopath.” —Library Journal (starred)
“Tightly plotted, expertly choreographed.... Stage palpably conveys Suzette's fear, anger, frustration, and desperation while exploring the deleterious effects that motherhood can have on one's marriage and self-worth. ...Stage fuses horror with domestic suspense to paint an unflinching portrait of childhood psychopathy and maternal regret.” —Kirkus (starred)
"Stage’s deviously fun debut takes child-rearing anxiety to demented new heights. Stage expertly crafts this creepy, can’t-put-it-down thriller into a fearless exploration of parenting and marriage that finds the cracks in unconditional love." —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“A totally engaging and unnerving read. Debut novelist Stage has convincingly created one of the youngest villains ever, and readers will be unable to resist the urge to meet Hanna.” —Booklist
“Zoje Stage’s Baby Teeth is cunning, sharp, and nasty, and wickedly funny until it isn’t funny anymore. This intelligent, unrelenting, layered shocker can stand proudly alongside classics like The Other and The Butcher Boy, with their ‘evil’ children uncannily reflecting our own sins.” —Paul Tremblay, nationally bestselling author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World
“Every time we read the premise of Baby Teeth, all the hair on the back of our neck stands up. Simply put, it’s about a sweet little girl who wants to kill her mother. And it. Is. Bonkers. Do you have goosebumps yet?” —HelloGiggles
“Imagine WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN only with insight into what Kevin was thinking—and if Eva had fought back. This dark, terrifying novel unfolds as a battle of wits between a struggling mother and her psychotic young daughter—and its genius is that the reader’s allegiance isn’t allowed to linger too long on either side. You’ll be desperate to discuss the ending once you’ve recovered from the shock of it. A must-read.” —Catherine Ryan Howard, USA Today bestselling author of Distress Signals
“Baby Teeth is electrifyingly creepy. It calls to mind the great monster children of The Fifth Child or We Need to Talk About Kevin, but has a devilish tension all its own. Twisted, playful, and deeply unsettling, Zoje Stage's debut announces her as a new voice worth celebrating.”—Colin Winnette, author of The Job of the Wasp
“Baby Teeth is deeply unsettling in the best possible way. Absolutely unforgettable and unflinching, it digs right into the painful nerve of family, obligation and dependence—it's a hell of a debut.” —Kelly Braffet, author of Save Yourself