I would echo another reader's opinion that Peazy Monellon's writing does bring to mind early Stephen King. Meany has that dark playfulness that King was so adept at. A young girl called Jenny and her cohort of brothers and sisters (mostly sisters) are growing up on a farm under the increasingly cruel rule of their dictatorial father. The place is also awash with spooks. For a first book this is pretty well written though at times I felt it did get a little tangled up in the different angles and ideas thrown up by the narrative. One of the farmhands provides confessional interludes that mainly injects frequent doses of foreshadowing into the read. The author doesn't pull any punches with the horror angle, throwing a fairly disturbing scene into the story in the first few chapters. I mostly enjoyed the sequences from the POV of the younger kids; Jenny's first encounter with benevolent spook Emma being one of the highlights. Other bits don't quite work as well; a surreal overly detailed game of Mouse Trap is a pretty audacious inclusion though it pretty much swamps the creepiness and tension with the nostalgia of children's games. It's not a long read, the generously spaced bold typeset makes the pages fly by. Basically a nicely written début.
Review copy from Goodreads giveaway.
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