The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian- 378 pages
In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts.
The home's new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, has to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure. Unlike the Miracle on the Hudson, however, most of the passengers aboard Flight 1611 die on impact or drown. The body count? Thirty-nine – a coincidence not lost on Chip when he discovers the number of bolts in that basement door. Meanwhile, Emily finds herself wondering about the women in this sparsely populated White Mountain village – self-proclaimed herbalists – and their interest in her fifth-grade daughters. Are the women mad? Or is it her husband, in the wake of the tragedy, whose grip on sanity has become desperately tenuous?
My review: 3 stars
Sucking me in from the beginning, author Bohjalian had me riveted, spooked and excited to read something entirely different from his previous works.
The story unfolded slowly as all good mystery books should, but perhaps so slowly that it was hard to believe the wife and kids didn't realize what was going on. Again, I wanted to reach into the pages and slap this mom!
I love books with a hint of witchery, herbalism and how they are still widely used in current day times, but these characters failed to deliver believability, even with the dumbed down foreshadowing of their plant names.
I did like the book overall but was heartily disappointed by the ever so canned ending which didn't seem likely to happen at all.
Tags: Witches, Fiction, 2011, Magical Realism
Labels: 2011, Fiction, Magical Realism, Witches