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 read and reviewed this exact book last year, but that’s because it’s such a great October read! I had absolutely no qualms about pulling it out to read again for this challenge because it was fantastic. I also wanted to change the leading quote, but it’s honestly my favorite, so it stayed**
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 movie and the book have quite a bit in common. Secluded family, creepy characters, creepy animals, “holy crap what??” moments (even if in The Witch it’s basically just the ending for me) and a main character that you shouldn’t try to put into a metaphorical box. I didn’t enjoy The Witch that much, it was a little slow for my horror movie loving blood, but the book was pretty good. The first time I read it, I spent the first 90% of it thinking, “ehhh.” That was quickly followed by “UMMM NO. NO. NO. NO. WHAT?!” for the last 10% and then me sitting up with all the lights on in my room waiting for my husband to get off of his rare overnight shift at work so that I could cuddle closer to him that night and morning. This go around I was just as freaked out, but I enjoyed the entire book a little more than the first time because I could appreciate where the story was going. 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.” The first time I read this, 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.
Age group I’d recommend this to? Definitely high school level. There’s some pretty significant mature themes running through the book.
And off on a tangent, this weekend was my son’s 4th birthday and birthday party! My sister, the Perspicacious Bookworm, came down for the party and it was especially nice to see her and her family, even if only for a few hours. In celebration of my Bean’s big day, and memory of the last time I probably get to choose his birthday theme (Pan, Pirates, Poppycock!), here are some photos from this weekend (and a couple of my Bean because I adore him):
I hope you guys enjoyed these little peeks behind the scenes!
So for Halloween, we are doing some old fashioned door to door trick or treating, followed up with hot cocoa and some nice Halloween movies. Not much different than my own childhood traditions…and I love it! Anyone have any big plans for Halloween?