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Baby Teeth: Proof that children are evil

A few years ago, during a wonderful Thanksgiving power outage, my cousin’s young daughter blurted out, “Mommy, I know why the power is out. The dog killers are coming.”

Yeah, kids are creepy. The brat didn’t even have a dog. She also called me "old guy," so,

yeah, "brat" is an earned title.

In “Baby Teeth: A Novel,” author Zoje Stage takes “kids are creepy” story to a whole new level.

Despite not speaking, young Hanna is a perfect angel…at least when her father is around. But when he’s not, all bets are off. She repeatedly gets kicked out of school and is violent with other children, although her father doesn’t believe it because nothing can be wrong with his perfect daughter.

Hanna is not a fan of her mom, Suzette, and goes out of her way to make her mother’s life a living hell.

Hanna plays mind games with Suzette, playing off her insecurities and taking advantage of her mother’s health problems. The mind games switch to out-and-out violence.

Stage does a fabulous job with the family dynamic. On the surface, the planning done by Hanna seems to be far advanced for her age, but it is portrayed as a way to make it seem realistic. As Suzette gets more and more frustrated, angry and scared of her own daughter you can almost feel her emotions pouring from the pages.

As the truth begins to dawn on her father, Hanna begins to lash out more in desperation to get the life she wants.

The writing is crisp, the story is fantastic and there is a real creep factor to this. Hanna isn’t a monster that can be fought or killed. She is a child, the main character’s main child, and they love her, and that love is what makes it an impossible situation.

I loved this book and at the same time it reaffirmed my life goal of never having children, so it’s get a big thumbs up from me.

Baby Teeth: A Novel

Zoje Stage St. Martin’s Press (2018) 320 pages Buy it here

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