I’ve been reading ferociously lately, trying to get through more of the list and inspire my own writing. And then the real horror hit me–how behind I was in posting my progress and reviews. Oh, no!
Next up is Audrey’s Door by Sarah Langan.
If I may be blunt? Fucking finally. It’s current. It’s written by a woman. And it’s scary.
For me, “scary” has been missing from a lot of the books on this list. Some I doubt are even properly classified as horror. But I blunder onward, always reading.
Classic haunted house story, but with so many interesting and diverting twists. The main character is mentally ill–that journey, alone, could have made an entire book. The romantic piece of the story could also have stood alone. But twine them together with an eerie old building that defies nature, and you’ve got a cracking story that won’t let you go.
Some could, uncharitably, point out that I am never in favor of having a monster that is never actually seen in a book. Well, yeah, unless it’s done superbly. In this story, what lurks on the other side is never really fully seen, but I was so wrapped up in the story (and probably my security blanket, two cats, a flashlight and a baseball bat) that I didn’t care.
One of the facets that riveted me to my chair was Audrey’s mental illness, and her history with it. How she thought about it. How she lived with it on a daily basis. How she perceived it. I think there’s a great deal of misunderstanding and unfounded assumptions about people who are mentally ill not being aware of their illness. This book lays waste to that theory. Audrey knows exactly what her problems are, and while she may not know how to fix them, she knows how to cope with them and work around them.
When I read this book, I could feel the influence of Rosemary’s Baby, and perhaps a hint of Lovecraft.
Yes, this is a haunted house novel. But it is so much more. It’s become one of my favorites from this list, and I can’t wait to read her other novels. Although, of course, after I finish this list. THIS DAMN LIST. Wait, maybe I died and this is a form of purgatory? Well, that’s a story for me to write.