How to keep up or know about all of the great books and music out there? I don’t know! 🤷🏻♀️ How have I only heard of T. Kingfisher in the past few months? A new author for my must-read pile! Have you read her?
Blurb: A haunting Southern Gothic from an award-winning master of suspense, A House With Good Bones explores the dark, twisted roots lurking just beneath the veneer of a perfect home and family.
“Mom seems off.”
Her brother’s words echo in Sam Montgomery’s ear as she turns onto the quiet North Carolina street where their mother lives alone.
She brushes the thought away as she climbs the front steps. Sam’s excited for this rare extended visit, and looking forward to nights with just the two of them, drinking boxed wine, watching murder mystery shows, and guessing who the killer is long before the characters figure it out.
But stepping inside, she quickly realizes home isn’t what it used to be. Gone is the warm, cluttered charm her mom is known for; now the walls are painted a sterile white. Her mom jumps at the smallest noises and looks over her shoulder even when she’s the only person in the room. And when Sam steps out back to clear her head, she finds a jar of teeth hidden beneath the magazine-worthy rose bushes, and vultures are circling the garden from above.
To find out what’s got her mom so frightened in her own home, Sam will go digging for the truth. But some secrets are better left buried.
I was listening to an audiobook that I just couldn’t get into and was struggling to finish it–okay, struggling to get to the half-way point. For some reason I was slow to realize that I didn’t have to torture myself, that I was allowed to pause the book and move on to something else. And that made all the difference. 😉
Mary Robinette Kowal’s voice is perfect for T. Kingfisher’s A House with Good Bones. It is wry, filled with appropriate humor, yet dramatic when it needs to be. Yes, perfect for this book and so welcoming after the other aforementioned audiobook. I started listening and didn’t want to stop.
Sam Montgomery, an entomologist/archaeologist, has been begged by her brother to check in on their mother. With a break in her schedule, she heads to North Carolina, to the quiet suburban street where her mother lives. The first thing that Sam notices is how thin her mother is, not the voluptuous curviness that they both share. And then she notices just how strange her mother is behaving. Is she suddenly mourning her mother who died 20 years earlier? Is that why she’s repainted the house from its crazy, happy colors to the neutrals her own mother had painted it? Or rehung the racist paintings that her mother loved? Or why she seems to be misremembering events from the past? Sam is afraid that her mother might be suffering the beginnings of dementia. That is until strange things begin to happen to Sam as well.
A House with Good Bones is a wonderful blend of science (I loved learning about the bugs and roses) and gothic paranormal. Despite the fact that this is horror, there’s a vein of humor running through it that I thoroughly enjoyed, but which did not deter from the creepiness at all. Sam also raises relevant points of what it’s like to be an over-weight woman visiting the doctor who is told that everything would be better if she just lost weight. This observation has one of the best punchlines I’ve read in a very long time and which I will not spoil despite dying to.
As a scientist, Sam is slow to believe that there could be anything occurring that could not be explained by science, an element that helps raise suspense and tension, especially in the last 20% when the proverbial guano hits the fan. The climax is definitely worth clinging to your chair for and hanging on.
The conclusion is a little open-ended. But you’ll have to read/listen to figure out why I say that.
So. I’m just gonna put it out there: I loved this book. LOVED IT!!!!!!
Many thanks to Macmillan Audio for providing a copy for an honest review.