Just Like Mother by: Anne Heltzel

This book was absolutely horrifying. Before I get into the review I will say that rape is mentioned in the book and does happen on page while the character is unaware. The characters in this book are difficult to like, aside from the MC but for me, this book turned my stomach, gave me goosebumps and will probably give me nightmares.

Just Like Mother is the well written story of Maeve and Andrea. Two girls who were born and raised in the Mother Collective, a cult of fanatical woman and motherhood. They were rescued as young children and have been out of touch until Maeve happens to do a DNA test and finds her.

From there, Andrea is a fixture in her life with her perfect family of her, her husband, their successful, well, Andrea’s successful business. And then there’s Emily, the face of the business while Andrea handles the workings. And the workings include lifelike baby robots.

Maeve works at a publishing house, has a casual f-buddy relationship with a stoner bartender named Ryan and alopecia. She doesn’t have a family.

When Andrea comes back into her life, it’s apparent she’ll do anything to keep her there. It’s like she’s not really herself unless Andrea is there.

We find out about the cult and their background throughout the story and it’s dark. The way people, men were treated and what we find out about the cult. It’s very much “women are powerful because they can have babies. That’s their vocation, their divine duty.”

The book does touch on the fact that that’s transphobic and ignores the fact that there are people who can’t have children and those who simply don’t want them. It’s very much anti feminist. And those are the character’s words.

I won’t spoil anything but it is a good book, if not a heavy read given the current political climate around reproductive right’s and how the fight for them can end up transphobic.

This book messed with my head. It made me nauseous. And it was well written.

Giving this book five stars feels weird because it was a good book, well written, and made me wildly uncomfortable. So do with that what you will.

I will say, that if you have issues around pregnancy, forced birth, rape, don’t read this book. Always protect your peace and mental health first.

I received this eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to them and the publisher.


Author. Reader. Reviewer. Interested in Sci-fi, Fantasy, and everything in between. Ya, and Adult. Looking for representaion where it matters! BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, everything! We all deserve stories!

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