This book was so weird and different, but I totally loved it. I listened to the audiobook and I had to keep pausing and rewinding it because there were so many little gems. There are some truly creepy moments in this book, and the main “bad guy” is just gross. I loved it all.
Alex Easton is a retired soldier who gets a letter that their childhood friend is dying. Alex travels to the home of the Ushers in rural Gallatia, where they used to live. Alex’s description of home: If you don’t die from falling in a hole or starving, a wolf eats you. Man did I crack up at that one!
Alex has a mystery on their hands, but still takes the time to make me laugh. This could be my personal tagline: If you don’t make a fool of yourself over animals, you aren’t to be trusted. PREACH!
And I think this one might suffice for a backup personal mantra: People get hung up on happiness and joy, but fun will take you at least as far, and it’s generally cheaper to obtain.
So anyway, the story… There’s a creepy lake outside the Usher’s house, and Alex is pretty sure Madeline (the childhood friend) is infected with something from the lake. There’s a lot of spooky nighttime interactions, and tons of weird rabbit activity. There’s also a wonderful British mycologist that Alex meets in the woods regularly. I loved the characters. There’s an American doctor, and this is Alex talking about him: Sometimes it’s hard to know if someone is insulting or just American. That one cracked me up too.
Please read this book. It’s creepy and weird and funny and heartfelt. I loved it, and it made me continue my – let’s call it – Autumn of T. Kingfisher!
Ok another creepy and funny entry from T. Kingfisher. This one was totally different from the last one, but I could say they have the same vibe. I was alternatively super creeped out / grossed out / laughing like a maniac.
Sam is starting a big dig for work (she’s an archaeoentomologist), but they find some bones that have to be identified, so her job is on hold. She packs up and heads back to her mom’s house (that used to be her grandma’s house) for a little while.
When she gets there, Sam is struck by some differences. Her mom always had the house painted crazy colors with knick knacks and eccentric artwork everywhere.
Sidebar – there’s this painting / photo (I can’t remember which) with a hellgrammite in it. Most people would have to Google that, but as someone who has frequently picked up fishing bait for my dad, I knew those little suckers instantly. News flash – they’re gross. Totally unrelated to the story though!
Now the house is mostly beige, and all the life seems to be drained from it. Her mom looks thin and nervous too. It’s almost like her (racist / asshole) grandma is back. The backyard is full of prize-winning roses, but there are curiously no bugs, which Sam notices immediately.
Once again I loved the characters in this book. Sam and her mom are so likeable. The handyman is cute and caring, and the crazy witch lady neighbor is neither crazy, well I think she actually is a witch. But she’s great! OH I almost forgot. She has a rescued vulture who is just adorable. He’s like a flying cat with some superpowers.
By the end this story goes TOTALLY off the rails, but I was there for the ride. This book is so hard to describe, but it’s classic T. Kingfisher. I can say classic now because I’ve read at least 3 of her books!