The Stepmother – Review

The Stepmother The Step Mother

by: Claire Seeber


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The perfect wife. A fairytale family. Don’t believe your eyes…
Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.

No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.

And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.

But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.

Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.

After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending … doesn’t it?

A compelling, dark and twisty psychological thriller that will grip fans of Behind Closed Doors, Between You and Me and The Teacher.


This was a difficult book for me.

I do agree that the stepmother in a family can have some adjusting to get used to. The same goes for stepfathers. But I just wasn’t feeling it. Of course, there was resistance from the stepchildren, but I felt it was sort of misplaced. It’s totally hard to convey in words (I’ve been contemplating writing this for days). I honestly just could not click with Jeanie. She was so difficult to relate to; she did have this huge secret, but she just would not come clean. I cannot even tell you how many times I rolled my eyes at her when she talked about it, internally. Or when she’d freak out about it. It’s like, come on, just get it over with. You probably should have done it before you got married!

I had a hard time relating to Matthew as well. He wasn’t a swoon-worthy guy, except for the money. Wait, does that make me shallow? 😉 Nah, I’m not about the money, I promise. His personality just clashed, and absolutely was not the character for me.

But I adored Frankie. He was so down to earth, and just accepted everything as it came.

However, I did like Seeber’s writing. Her style reminded me of the gothic era, more like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I would definitely read more by her! I loved the dark nature of the story. Her writing is basically what kept me going through the story, otherwise I probably would have DNF’d it about 35% in. Overall, I feel the story fell short. Again, mostly due to the characters. The plot itself moved at a decent pace, and it kept me wanting more. I just had to push through my dislike for the characters. Although, I do have to admit, it did not live up to the hype I’ve seen in a few reviews.

*I received a copy from NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.


Claire Seeber

Claire Seeber is a Londoner who started professional life as a (bad) actress and became a documentary maker, a journalist and a writer of, so far, psychological thrillers. The Washington Post said ‘The opening pages of LULLABY couldn’t be much better’; The Observer said of her first novel: ‘a disturbing debut’ whilst The Guardian called it ‘powerful’…she keeps writing whilst also studying psychology and (trying to) to manage a home of slightly feral kids and animals. Luckily she’s got a very nice partner to help too. NB Claire loves America: she’s been to New York a few times, to LA, San Fran, Miami (loved South Beach) & Oklahoma. There’s so much more to see though 🙂


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  1. Avatar Donna says:

    I had the same issue with Jeanie. I wanted to shake her and tell her to just spill it! The threat of the secret slowly lost its suspense power for me because I was just annoyed at her for not being honest with Matthew. He was not the best husband material and I found him quite selfish and lacking in understanding when it comes to his new wife. The plot was good up to the 80% mark and the ending was kind of disappointing, but Claire Sebeer’s writing was good. Great review 🙂

  2. Avatar Random Reads says:

    I’m sorry this wasn’t an enjoyable book for you. It sounds like it should’ve been a great book 🙂

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