Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel

A great thriller horror hybrid that takes a stab at murdering the wellness industry. And tosses in some creepy dolls for added fun!

Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel

Released May 2022

Source: Borrowed from Library

Goodreads  | Amazon

A girl would be such a blessing...

The last time Maeve saw her cousin was the night she escaped the cult they were raised in. For the past two decades, Maeve has worked hard to build a normal life in New York City, where she keeps everything—and everyone—at a safe distance.

When Andrea suddenly reappears, Maeve regains the only true friend she’s ever had. Soon she’s spending more time at Andrea’s remote Catskills estate than in her own cramped apartment. Maeve doesn’t even mind that her cousin’s wealthy work friends clearly disapprove of her single lifestyle. After all, Andrea has made her fortune in the fertility industry—baby fever comes with the territory.

The more Maeve immerses herself in Andrea’s world, the more disconnected she feels from her life back in the city; and the cousins’ increasing attachment triggers memories Maeve has fought hard to bury. But confronting the terrors of her childhood may be the only way for Maeve to transcend the nightmare still to come…

My 2 Cents for Free!

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a sinister look at motherhood and extremes and strong opinions and cults and creepy lifelike dolls. If you have triggers around non-consensual sex, loss of bodily autonomy, and motherhood and birth please be warned.

It gives off a very dark thriller kind of vibe throughout but some of the things that happen are definitely horror and most definitely horrible! So, if you like either of those genres I think maybe you’ll find something to like about this one.

I’ll be honest here, I did guess many of the surprises and that’s something I might complain about in a book that wasn’t as engaging as this one. Even though I figured out the major reveals early, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story because it stuck its claws in me early and never let go. I loved the storytelling here and the whole cult storyline, the creepy imagery (those dolls - curse them all to hell!), and the whole “wellness” bullshit and hidden agendas and unhealthy relationships. I just loved so many of the things this book had to say about all of it.

A definite recommendation from me if you like any of this stuff.


  1. Just the thought of creepy lifelike dolls makes me shiver. ;D

    1. Yes, no thank you! They make some that look so real now too

  2. I love the creepy dolls. I have several of my moms porcelain dolls in a cabinet and my grandson hates them. lol

    1. My mother has always collected them and some are creepier than others but I definitely do not want them passed on to me!

  3. I'll have to get it but man... those dolls.


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