Things have been a little rocky around here lately and I’ve had no time for blogging. But shrinking days and a cold snap have ushered in the fall season, and I’ve been stealing time to read spooky books in the evenings. (Not the best treatment for insomnia, probably, but I’m in a gothic mood, so there you go.) I’ll probably do a reading wrap-up at the end of the month, but so far my favorites have been GHOST WALL by Sarah Moss, THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moira Fowley-Doyle, and SAWKILL GIRLS by Claire Legrand.
GHOST WALL is a deceptively slim book that layers an entire story in the subtext and hides volumes between the lines. It’s about an experimental archaeology project designed to reveal the emotional experiences of Iron Age life in Northumberland. Teenage Sylvie would rather be anywhere else, but her controlling, abusive father insists she participate. Just as the bog slowly gives up its secrets, something dark emerges when the past and present violently collide. This is gorgeously written, but it will haunt you long after you close the book.
THE ACCIDENT SEASON is a YA novel about two sisters, their ex-stepbrother, and their best friend trying to survive when yet another October brings a fresh round of injuries and bad luck. When they try to track down a missing classmate who mysteriously shows up in all their photos without leaving any trace of herself at school, they’re drawn into a sinister mystery where all is not as it seems. As October races to a close and the accident season threatens worse harm, a wild masquerade party reveals hidden truths and dark secrets. This is a story of discovery, grief, ghosts, forgiveness, and forbidden love wrapped in exquisite language and gorgeous imagery. It’s a very dark story, though, and may be triggering for sensitive readers.
SAWKILL GIRLS is probably one of the most frightening books I’ve read in a long, long time, but I loved the beautiful prose and fiercely strong female relationships. It’s a YA novel about three girls thrown together in a quest to defeat an old evil on their island. With nods to A Wrinkle in Time and a few cameo appearances by Morgan horses, this is a delightfully creepy Halloween read I’ll visit again in years to come. It is brutal and gory and terrifying, though, so… I wouldn’t recommend it for every reader. If you like walking alone at night this will make you glance over your shoulder and wish you carried a bigger flashlight. 😉
In other Halloween news, we took a haunted cave tour this past weekend because our daughter was one of the spooks. It was held in Onandaga Cave State Park and it was such a neat experience. The cave was dark and full of mist, and the volunteer spooks did a wonderful job. (The creepy little kid clown following the tour left me on the verge of panic, but otherwise it was marvelous! :)) Onandaga Cave is beautiful, with lovely formations and graceful lines that didn’t trigger my claustrophobia, so if you’re ever in southern Missouri it’s worth stopping, imo. (The cave is contaminated with white nose, however, and is working to stop the spread of the disease so if you plan on touring multiple caves in one trip do follow recommended precautions and be aware.)
Our lake is slowly filling and we had a bonfire to celebrate. (Well, the bonfire was for brush, but *I* celebrated!)
I’ve been busy purging and organizing and cleaning all the dark closets and shadowed corners of my house – a job left too long at the bottom of my priority list, unfortunately – so I haven’t gotten a lot of other things done. But this is the perfect time of year to clear away old clutter and negative energy, so I’d best get back to it.
My reward will be a tub of Parker’s maple cotton candy and another book this evening. 🙂
I hope you’re enjoying October and I’ll try to pop back on soon.