Book Review: Zoje Stage’s ‘Baby Teeth’

D1A1CA3A-857C-4716-BB84-6CD43CF2BC61.jpegNo psychological suspense or thrills. No twists or turns.

What you see is what you get in this unredeemable story about a Jewish mother with a goyishe kop who uses f––k as an adjective when speaking to her out-to-get-her, seven-year-old bad seed (who uses that word in her head a few times and acts it out once—calling to mind Regan MacNeil), and an oblivious husband (“Poor Daddy could die of his own cluelessness”). It’s set in my childhood neighborhood; but for how wrong it gets it (🧦🧵🚽), it might as well be the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

The writing is flat, overladen with obscenities:

Freshly f––ked and the sun was shining.

She threw her head back, intoxicated, as usual, by the feel of his c––k making its entrance—her favorite, favorite thing.

Only the shock value (the medical gore 🚍; the dog who ate the woman’s face) is effective. Repulsive.

It took bookish me WEEKS to desire to pick up another read after slogging through this downer (the mother is suffering from Crohn’s disease and reconciling her feelings over a dead parent on top of dealing with her evil child). A huge disappointment, after seeing such advance praise from critics. #oncebittentwiceshy



Thanks, though, to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the Read Now opportunity.

Release date: July 17, 2018