“She stepped over the threshold and the house swallowed her whole.”
Remains is a heavy book. It is bleak and emotional and it will haunt you. It’s unrelenting in its pain and is an excellent exploration of the hellpit of grief. If you’ve read Hunter Shea’s CREATURE and/or Kealan Patrick Burke’s BLANKY, which both explore anguish and grief manifesting in unimaginable ways, you’ll have an idea of the type of mood I’m talking about.
From the moment I began Remains I was hooked. I’m a sucker for creepy atmosphere and the author sets that up in the first paragraph. It was also loosely based, in part, on recorded true events making it all the more unnerving. It starts out at a creeping pace as the reader is introduced to Lucy who is checking herself out of an institution against her doctor’s wishes. We are quickly entrenched in her grief soaked world but we don’t know her story yet. Small bits of Lucy’s reality are revealed and probably because I’m so nosy, I felt a compulsion to keep reading just one more page to discover more – even when I knew that more was going to be bad for my emotional state.
I read this book in two days which is a rare thing for me unless I’m listening on audio. I guess I’m a sucker for a deeply moving and disturbing story and this delivered on both counts. I’m reluctant to say too much about the actual plot because, as mentioned, the entire story is delivered in slow reveals and I don’t want to spoil any of them. Just know that once the truth is revealed it is HORRIBLE, I mean, it is one of the absolute worst things a person can experience, and the terrible thing that plays back in a few scenes will likely be hard to wash from your brain.
This book is about a house that may or may not be haunted and a woman who is most definitely haunted and if you read it I’m betting you’ll be haunted too. I know it’s going to linger with me for quite a while. This is the kind of horror novel that will break your heart and leave you bleeding from the emotional trauma long after the last page is turned. Prepare thyself!