I heard once that long-term isolation can have an effect most wicked on even the most competent of minds and seasoned mountain men, and also that guilt on its own is capable of ruin. By the time I met Henry the post boy in Crispin’s Peak while I was in for supplies with my pa, I’d experienced both, and my mind was eaten with rot.
I believe a part of myself may have died last winter.
I’m going to be totally honest and say I had lukewarm feelings for this book for about 90% of it. But the last 10% completely made the first 90% worth it.
When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner’s family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start.She longs to leave behind the awful memories of the past winter: her sickly mother giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly, born deaf and blind; of the terrifying images she saw as her sanity began to slip due to cabin fever; and most pressing, the rejection of the boy she was seeing whose baby she is now expecting.
When she, her parents, and her four siblings arrive at their new home on the vast prairie they can’t believe their luck at the size of the cabin and land that surround it, just waiting to be claimed. The reason for it remaining empty and available for passerby quickly becomes apparent as they discover the inside is ripped apart and covered in blood. As the time passes, it is obvious to Amanda that something wicked lives on the prairie and the stories she hears of lands being tainted by evil, of good men losing their minds and killing their families just confirms her suspicions. Then there is the odd doctor and his even stranger son who live in the woods on the edge of their land.
Even with all this weighing her down, Amanda can’t tell if the true evil lies in the cabin and land or within her.
The book doesn’t really start off packing much of a punch, in my opinion. The opening line is “The first time I lay with the post boy was on a Sunday, and I broke three commandments to do it.” My husband happened to be reading over my shoulder at the time and almost spit out his drink as he tried not to laugh. Yeah, it wasn’t a great set up to a story. But I’m glad I pushed through because the book has all the right creepy feels for an October creepy book read and, like I said earlier, the last ten percent of the book was definitely worth it in my opinion. I actually read it while my husband was working overtime overnight and I really regretted that decision because it was creepy enough to have my skin crawling in my dark quiet house. I sat up and waited to him to get home because I couldn’t fall asleep without picturing the creepy scenarios that played out in the end of the book.
Age group I’d recommend this to? Definitely high school level. There’s some pretty significant mature themes running through the book.
I’m playing a bit of a waiting game with the library for my week three book that has me nervous. If I need to, I will switch out my week three book (not sure to what yet though) but depending on what comes in at the library first it will either be The May Queen Murders or The Fall. The Fall looks like it will be in first, but who knows?
Also, if you have Pandora and love Halloween, you should totally check out the Halloween Party station if you haven’t already. I’ve been walking to it on the track and haven’t really had to skip or “thumbs down” any tracks so far. It’s great!
I wish I had more for you but I’m feeling about 400 weeks pregnant this week and next week is my Bean’s third birthday and birthday party so the to do list beckons.