When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.
Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.
But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…
In this new book by bestseller Grady Hendrix, he opens with a punch, whetting your appetite from the very beginning, and giving readers a creepy and haunting story that explores grief, memories, and the ghosts of our past. In this rich story with gripping events, engaging characters, he explores the dynamics of families and how death impacts them in this exciting story.
Louise and Mark are both fantastic characters, each with very different points of view on their childhood, much like any family anywhere. And like families, they don’t get along until they need to deal with the death of their parents and the house that is left behind, along with their grief and past memories. Along the way, each must find a way to reconcile those memories and find a way to sell a house that might not be ready to let go of them.
Much like in dealing with grief, this story is full of layers. While it can be enjoyed for the creepy and haunting story that it is, the novel delves into so many layers, not only exploring memories but also ghosts, generational trauma, pain, and ideas of what we can channel when interacting with puppets and dolls. Are there times that we reach other places and summon back those things we shouldn’t? I loved how the further into the story you went, the scarier it becomes, as the darkness envelopes both the reader and the characters. It is clear why Grady Hendrix is a best selling author, it is the layers in what he writes that comes together to create a frightening narrative that will stay with the reader long into the night. If you love scary horror stories, I completely recommend you check this one out. From haunted houses to scary puppets, it has everything I want in a good horror novel. It has a chilling story with an incredibly beautiful and powerful ending.
Rating: 5 out of 5 puppets.