Categories: Suspense, Horror
I received an advance copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Born just ten months apart, July and September are thick as thieves, never needing anyone but each other. Now, following a case of school bullying, the teens have moved away with their single mother to a long-abandoned family home near the shore. In their new, isolated life, July finds that the deep bond she has always shared with September is shifting in ways she cannot entirely understand. A creeping sense of dread and unease descends inside the house. Meanwhile, outside, the sisters push boundaries of behavior—until a series of shocking encounters tests the limits of their shared experience, and forces shocking revelations about the girls’ past and future.
This unsettling, haunting novel falls somewhere between suspense and horror, with hints of magic that could or not be all in the mind of the narrator. Daisy Johnson excels in writing magical realism and leaving the reader unsure what to believe or question. I loved that in Everything Under, and also in Sisters!
This novel takes us through July’s view of the events after they move back into the house where September and their father were born, a mysteriously noisy house that seems as alive as the girls and their mother. Furniture seems to move. New dark corners emerge. The walls seem to listen, to breathe, to hold judgement. The writing is so strikingly beautiful and evocative it truly shines. The imagery and foreshadowing were incredible.
What I enjoyed far less was the fact that it doesn’t seem like much happens at all, and I was relatively bored for the first few chapters, then it became very interesting, then boring again, and then BOOM mind blown with the fantastic ending. This uneven experience tired me out and the story didn’t flow as nicely as I hoped it would, even though this is a short book. Even the gorgeous writing and suspense couldn’t make up for the fact that it was all too… predictable. I have seen this story before (I can tell in the comments, because if I say what this reminds me of, it will spoil the book!) and so nothing was all that surprising.
Still, I found that the ending compensated for all of it. If you enjoy psychological horror, a story that slowly builds tension and with some weird supernatural added in, you will really enjoy this!