Well, THIS was disturbing. Maybe not a book to read in 2020? I picked this up because the horror movie forums I follow were raving about Netflix’s new film version of it and I wanted to read it first. Now I can’t tell if I’m excited to see it or dreading it. Not really; I’m excited. Online fans mentioned how David Lynch-like it is (the movie), and they’re correct, but the book also has a real David Cronenberg and Chuck Palahniuk feel to it. In other words, it’s haunting.
The book seemingly starts out with a routine (if maybe a little tense) trip to a farmhouse for the introduction of a new girlfriend (the narrator) to her boyfriend’s parents. We get mostly her inner dialogue and anxiety about her partner, Jake, and whether to end things. We’re given just enough of the relationship to think that maybe she should just stick it out, that this seems pretty workable, and then they arrive at the farmhouse and everything you thought you’d intuited is gone and never comes back and it’s one harrowing scene after another and you wish and wish they were just back in the safety of that car trip. Fueled by tiny, cryptic chapters that allude to an unknowable yet obviously terrible tragedy, this books speeds along stopping only occasionally for the reader to think “Wait. What? NO. NO. NO.”
I honestly don’t know if I’m recommending this or not. I loved it and think many others will too but it tore up my brain and soul — so just know that going into it, okay?
Review by Sarah Maciejewski of the Children’s Room.
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