published September 19, 2023
One thing I love about Berkley Publishing is when they publish a thriller or horror book, you know it will be unique. As I started reading this one, I was sure I knew where it was headed. It eluded to a cult that seemed to be religious in nature, but of course there is always a twist.
Vesper is heading home. A place she’s stayed away from for some time because she isn’t welcome. She wasn’t sure why she was invited to the wedding. As the reader, I wasn’t sure why she wasn’t welcome and I had all kinds of guesses. I related to Vesper, because at times I am the black sheep of the family too.
This one explores family and community. Both personally and as a big picture. As I read I was slowly let in to all the secrets this community has. I am going to leave my review here so I don’t spoil anything. But if you are looking for something a little different than your average thriller, this will definitely fit the bill. Nothing is as straightforward as it seems and I couldn’t read/listen to this one quick enough to be let in on the secrets.
When listening to this one, I enjoyed Jeremey Carlisle Parker’s narration. She nailed Vesper in all her youngness and cynicism. You can’t go wrong with either reading or listening or both to this one. A perfect choice for the start of spooky season.
About the book
A cynical twentysomething must confront her unconventional family’s dark secrets in this fiery, irreverent horror novel from the author of Such Sharp Teeth and Cackle.
Nobody has a “normal” family, but Vesper Wright’s is truly…something else. Vesper left home at eighteen and never looked back—mostly because she was told that leaving the staunchly religious community she grew up in meant she couldn’t return. But then an envelope arrives on her doorstep.
Inside is an invitation to the wedding of Vesper’s beloved cousin Rosie. It’s to be hosted at the family farm. Have they made an exception to the rule? It wouldn’t be the first time Vesper’s been given special treatment. Is the invite a sweet gesture? An olive branch? A trap? Doesn’t matter. Something inside her insists she go to the wedding. Even if it means returning to the toxic environment she escaped. Even if it means reuniting with her mother, Constance, a former horror film star and forever ice queen.
When Vesper’s homecoming exhumes a terrifying secret, she’s forced to reckon with her family’s beliefs and her own crisis of faith in this deliciously sinister novel that explores the way family ties can bind us as we struggle to find our place in the world.