Today’s team review is from Fiona.
Fiona has been reading The Misery House by David Kummer
“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.”
If I tell you that this tale starts out with a creepy old house you might think that a cliche was on its way, but it is done so beautifully, the cliche is avoided. Small town ordinariness is built in to a narrative out of which the shocking arises almost naturally.
As a Brit reader, I don’t have an idea of where New Haven is but I still managed to appreciate the picture drawn in this book of the constant tension that small town life engenders – security or suffocation? The descriptions of the hills, the weather and Kaia’s beloved forest are beautiful, adding yet another layer to New Haven.
Events are sparked off as a middle school baseball game is played out under a baking sun. I found this opening excellent, building the sense of unease gradually from something as innocent and wholesome as a family attending the game. The fire that starts the action devastates the town but brings out some people’s suspicion of outsiders. The action is complicated by the fact that most of the characters have known each other all their lives: they have a natural reluctance to judge one another.
From the beginning though, the Woods family stand out because Cliff married Naomi, a girl he met a college, different in her appearance and her willingness to challenge the easy road, the acceptable version. Their children Nathaniel and Kaia are also given the chance to be different, and Kaia in particularly dreams of leaving New Haven despite her love for it, and her close friendship with Allison who has already married the loathsome Maliki. Led by Naomi’s strength the Woods family are going to challenge the easy assumptions of others, the people who want to believe that “…strangers mean trouble. New people mean trouble.”
The creepiness surrounding the abandoned old house is beautifully built up and unusually for me I read the book in one go. In fact, I was surprised when I reached the end – the story really does grab you and hold you. Watch out though – it ends on a terrific cliffhanger and you are going to wait impatiently for the next installment!
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.