Today’s team review is from Noelle.
Noelle has been reading The Misery House by David Kummer
The story is set in a very small rural town called New Haven that time and tide have passed by. It’s a skeleton of a place, slowly dying, and the author does a great job making it a character, although an unpleasant one.
The Woods family has lived there a long time, long enough to be called ‘native.’ The father, Benjamin Woods is a farmer, his wife is Naomi, and they have two children, Kaia and Nathaniel. By implication, they are a mixed race family, and their interrelationships initially appear to be strong, but rifts appear. The author shifts between these four characters in the telling.
Overlooking the town is an old, decaying house, another character, which holds memories of terror for Naomi. She wants nothing more than for her children to stay away from it. But when one of the few remaining stores in town burns to the ground along with the owner and his son, who are found tied up, and a newly-wed couple disappears, signs indicate this house is somehow involved. The bride is Kaia’s only real friend, while the groom is a feckless James Dean wannabe who yearns after Kaia. Is the Woods family as strong as it seems, and will the house draw Kaia to it?
The author does a good job creating the atmosphere of the town and these events. I feel like I am looking through a glass stained in translucent sepia. And the house – it couldn’t be creepier. The descriptions are excellent and compelling. All the adult characters are pretty well drawn, although only the children really got my interest.
Although the tension was real and I could feel it, it took a long time to develop. The author spends a lot of time with his narrative to the detriment of the story’s progress. There were points where things really slowed down and I wanted to get on with it. Having four different points of view did not make the story difficult, although I had to take a breath with the shifts and carefully note whose mind I was in.
The author left a lot of loose threads: the reader never discovers why Naomi has this persistent memory or nightmare about the house, the murders of the store owner and his son are unresolved, and while one of the wedding couple returns (the groom), Kaia’s best friend does not. Kaia’s search of the old house yields nothing but a traumatizing experience. What exactly is going on with the house?
All of these questions will undoubtedly be answered in the next two books in this trilogy, but I think the author left too many things unresolved. Better he had tied up a few things in this one.
Sometimes the quietest little towns are haunted by the darkest secrets.
A psychological thriller and a family you’ll never forget.
New Haven: This rural town has never seen a string of tragedies like this. A local store burns to the ground with two bodies inside. A newlywed couple goes missing, and all signs point to the abandoned house. With no answers, the townsfolk grow more and more worried.
The Woods family has lived here forever. But when their friends and their own children are put in danger, the threat hits home. This close-knit family must risk everything to find answers, but time is running out.
New Haven has secrets. And a haunted house like you’ve never seen before.
The Misery House is a chilling, suspenseful novel that will keep you guessing until the very end and set the stage for an epic three-book haunting. With its twists and turns, a likable family thrust into danger, this page-turner will keep you up late into the night.
It’s up to the Woods family. Some fates are worse than death. Is it too late to save their town… and each other?
Expected publication July 7th 2023.
Ugh. I hate when there are too many loose ends. Makes me feel manipulated into buying the next book. Sherry
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Great review! This sounds like an interesting read.
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