sweet baby mine book cover

Sweet Baby Mine – Book Review

Thank you to author Maria Daversa for providing me with a copy of Sweet Baby Mine in exchange for this honest review.

Sweet Baby Mine has a simple premise with extremely complex characters. Essentially, a married couple discovers that their addict daughter has gone missing. The book opens with Ana, the mother, frantically trying to find her while her husband is on the phone telling her to calm down and just wait it out. Clearly, there is a disconnect in this relationship.

As the novel progresses we get to see Ana and her husband Tony’s disastrous personalities come out in full force. The book alternates perspectives between the two and gives us both sides of the story, spoiler, neither are very sympathetic.

We learn all of their secrets like how Tony may currently be having an affair. Ana has borderline personality disorder and Tony is a narcissist. They think that their disorders somehow compliment each other but to us outside observers they’re just a gigantic mess. Ana will do anything to keep Tony coming back to her, including putting herself in danger because she knows his savior complex cannot resist.

Author Daversa handles these disorders well and with experience. As a former clinical psychologist she is able to portray these personality types as they actually can be instead of as stereotypes from movies. A lot of the negative reviews I saw on Goodreads for Sweet Baby Mine seem to think that these characters are too over the top or too deplorable to want to read about. I say, if you’ve ever known someone with borderline they’re spot on.

There is no rule that you have to like characters. Realistic characters probably have plenty to hate about them, just like real people. What matters is that they are entertaining and that the story is worth telling. This one is both.

The couple has visceral fights but they can’t stop coming back to each other. Their toxicity is fueled by their palpable chemistry. Ultimately, the book is about what it takes to break these chemical reactions and bring out the best in these people.

It’s important to see how out of control these characters feel when they’re performing with awful behavior. Like it or not, some people do suffer from mental issues that make it much more difficult for them to “act normal.” Sweet Baby Mine takes two of these people and has them feed into each other. Trigger warnings for marital abuse and self harm definitely apply.

Although the plot comes down to rescuing their daughter the bulk of the story is about the marriage and whether or not it can be considered successful. The reader is a fly on the wall for two people at their worst and it’s difficult to tell if we should root for them or not.

Daversa uses her real life experience to create an unforgettable pair and she uses her skills as a writer to keep the pages turning. I was engrossed in this book and just had to see where the train finally wrecked. Was it pleasant to watch? No. Do I regret watching? Also no.

5/5 I’m worried for people like these faces 😧😧😧😧😧

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