NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Monday, November 4, 2013

Harrowgate by Kate Maruyama

4.0 out of 5 stars

Michael returns home after an extended work-related trip to find that his wife has given birth, a bit prematurely, to a son that she has named Tim. Michael is, at first, overjoyed with his new little family but that feeling changes to one of foreboding and a sense that something is a bit off despite his excitement settling in. Things are definitely pretty strange. Why does his wife, Sarah, look so odd and act so strangely? Sarah refuses to allow Michael to answer the door or to let anyone -- even their own family -- into the apartment. Who is Greta and why does she seem to have assumed control of his household and have such power over his wife? Michael knows that the birth of a baby changes things, but soon he finds just HOW MUCH happened in his absence.

Not a spoiler: This is not a ghost story, per se, but it is about dead loved ones returned to life. It is also an exploration of grief and loss as well as touching on speculation regarding an afterlife or what might lie beyond for those who die. Written from the points of view of both Michael and Sarah, the novel is a page turner and kept me enthralled. In the end, however, I was left with several unanswered questions and wish there had been a bit more detail.

I'd highly recommend this for a book club as it would allow for plenty of discussion on many topics related to family, death, grieving, and loss. I'm not typically a fan of the horror genre and I was glad this was not that type of novel. It is nice and creepy without going over the line and, just ALMOST, completely believable. The reader feels the menace in the house and and the darkness. I enjoyed it! Good title too. 
Thank you to NetGalley and for the ARC to review.

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