The September House by Carissa Orlando
SYNOPSIS: "A woman is determined to stay in her dream home even after it becomes a haunted nightmare in this compulsively readable, twisty, and layered debut novel.
When Margaret and her husband Hal bought the large Victorian house on Hawthorn Street—for sale at a surprisingly reasonable price—they couldn’t believe they finally had a home of their own. Then, they discovered the hauntings. Every September, the walls drip blood. The ghosts of former inhabitants appear, and all of them are terrified of something that lurks in the basement. Most people would flee.
Margaret is not most people.
Margaret is staying. It’s her house. But after four years Hal can’t take it anymore, and he leaves abruptly. Now, he’s not returning c
alls, and their daughter Katherine—who knows nothing about the hauntings—arrives, intent on looking for her missing father. To make things worse, September has just begun, and with every attempt Margaret and Katherine make at finding Hal, the hauntings grow more harrowing, because there are some secrets the house needs to keep."
REVIEW: There is a lot to like about The September House. There are great
Horror elements, a sentient house, and lovely family relationships. I enjoyed the relationship between Margaret and her ghost housekeeper!
My biggest issue (and it's totally a me-thing) is that we know so much upfront. I prefer stories where the horror and the mystery elements unfold more slowly. I found this to be more of a why is it happening story than a what is happening.
But the writing is good, and the tension climbs toward the end. If that sounds like your thing, definitely pick this one up.
Overall rating: 4 stars
About the Author
Carissa Orlando has a doctorate in clinical-community psychology and specializes in work with children and adolescents. In her “day job,” Carissa works to improve the quality of and access to mental health care for children and their families. Prior to her career in psychology, Carissa studied creative writing in college and has written creatively in some form since she was a child. It was only a matter of time before Carissa, an avid horror fan for much of her life, merged her understanding of the human psyche and deep love for storytelling into a piece of fiction.
Photo Credit: Cameron Massey
Disclaimer: Thank you to Berkley for the free e-galley! All thoughts and opinions are my own.