Read as part of CBR14 Bingo: Monster. One of the women in a group of suburban mom friends turns into a literal monster and it’s up to the other women to save her.
For almost thirty years (maybe going on forty), the suburbs have been used as a setting to explore the murky themes beyond the American idyll of house/car/2.5 kids. From mystery to horror to…well whatever John Waters does, we’ve often seen the lily white burbs are not all they seem. The Tom Hanks-esque gentleman watering his flowers next door is actually a serial killer. The handsome couple across the way runs an S-and-M swingers club out of their basement. And on and on.
This one is in a similar vein: a suburban hausfrau turns into a monster but only her friends notice because the rest of the community is preoccupied by things like what to bring for the big 4th of July party. It’s a running commentary on suburban isolationism and the need to build community, as well as how that community responds in the wake of danger.
This one had moments. Maureen Kilmer can write some decent atmospheric horror and I liked the journey the MC took to figuring out what was wrong with her friend and how to stop it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect with the bonds of friendship the way the writer wanted me to. Multiple POVs would’ve helped. I also felt removed from large parts of the suburban drama. I get the impression she wants to blend horror and comedy but this is far more horror than comedy. Fun in spots but nothing exceptional.