Baby Teeth
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Published: 7/16/2019
Hanna proves to be a difficult child. Now seven-years-old, she has yet to utter a word. Defiant and anti-social, she refuses to behave in kindergarten classes, forcing Suzette to homeschool her. Resentful of her mother’s rules, Hanna lashes out in anger, becoming more aggressive every day.
2.5Overall Score

Baby Teeth

I could write my own review of this novel, but to really give you a feel for it I decided to let the words speak for themselves. Here are some quotes: "Hanna saw Daddy's sculpted bum and ...

  • Plot
    2.5
  • Characters
    2.0
  • Pacing
    3.0

I could write my own review of this novel, but to really give you a feel for it I decided to let the words speak for themselves. Here are some quotes:

  • "Hanna saw Daddy's sculpted bum and Mommy's breasts looked sharp and ready to shoot."
  • "Freshly fucked and the sun was shining."
  • "The invisible demon with his fire-hot phallus."
  • "But then she looked at me, smiling, and told me the devil was fucking her, basically--that the devil was fucking her and she liked it."

 

The gist of this story is that a 7 year old girl wants to kill her mother because when she was 3 years old her mother shoved food in her mouth (that Hanna had previously spit in her mother's face) and held Hanna's mouth closed until she choked down the chewed up food.

From that moment on, 3 year old Hanna decided to test her mother's love, ultimately finding her unworthy. Hanna adored her father and thought her mother was only getting in the way of a happily ever after with her dad. Hanna also refuses to speak through the majority of the novel. She takes on an alter-ego of the last witch burned at the stake in France and speaks occasionally to her mother in a French accent as Marie-Ann Dufosset.

 

Hanna spends the majority of the story getting kicked out of schools and tormenting her mother in various ways. Here's how she accomplishes the mother torture:

  • She cuts off a chunk of her mother's hair while she sleeps because Hanna thinks it will make her mom look ugly to her father and her father will leave her mother
  • She fills her mother's pill capsules with flour. Her mother has Crohn's and the lack of actual pills makes her very sick.
  • She takes a picture of her mother naked and sleeping and makes a collage of her mother's picture next to printed photos of dead mothers in coffins.
  • She puts thumbtacks tack up all over the floor so her mother wakes up and impales her foot on 20 of them, causing her to need crutches.
  • She comes at her mom with a hammer.
  • She causes her mom to spill wine on herself while outside around a bonfire and then comes at her with a flaming stick, knowing alcohol is an accelerant. Her mother gets second degree burns on her legs and face.

To Hanna's credit, her mother Suzette is not exactly a model mother. Suzette's own mother let her Crohn's go undiagnosed for several years and spent most of her days drunk or in bed. Suzette frequently makes it clear that she does not want Hanna around and feels Hanna is ruining her relationship with her husband Alex. Here are some gems Suzette says or thinks about Hanna:

  • "Hanna wasn't worth the little energy she had left."
  • "'I don't have time for this. Play with your devil friends. Read your books. I'm sorry, but there's something wrong with you.'"
  • "'You fucking little monster!'"
  • "Hanna. Devilish bitch."

The back of the book promises a "shocking conclusion." I disagree. I hate abandoning books and that was really the only thing that kept me reading until the end.

 

Good to Knows:

I read it in: 5 long days

Watch out for: violence, language

COMPELLING QUOTE ALERT:

“It was hard to pour endless love into someone who wouldn't love you back. No one could do it forever”