The Night Strangers

I literally squealed with glee when I received my copy of “The Night Strangers” as a birthday present from a friend. Glee.

Now, after finishing it in a marathon “Go away, kids, Mommy is reading and she needs to find out if Mr. X is going to die” session, I’m so conflicted. Conflicted, because while Chris Bohjalian wrote another EXCELLENT piece of fiction, the ending moved me to tears. I suppose if I got the ending I had wanted, that would have been predictable. And Bohjalian is anything but predictable. This is not a happy book. And I wouldn’t recommend it if you are planning on taking a plane somewhere soon, or buying that 100+year-old Victorian home in New England.

“The Night Strangers” centers on the attempts made by the Lintons—Chip, Emily, Hallie and Garnet—to recover as a family after Chip ‘s plane (he is a pilot feeling as if he never quite reached the heights of his career) crashes into Lake Champlain, killing 39 of his passengers and crew. They move from Pennsylvania to New Hampshire and suddenly find themselves in the town that boasts more than its fair share of “herbalists,” and in a house with a past that no one really tells them about.

If this makes it to film, we’re talking a “Sixth Sense Meets Fatal Attraction Meets Cocoon” kind of flick. And if I were to run into Anise in a dark alley, I’m not sure if I’d be safer to run like hell or take a chance at punching her in the throat. I actually looked up the meaning of Anise, hoping to discover it was a bitter old hag of a spice, but sadly, no. She is evil personified.

It seemed there were a few loose ends (Just what WAS that intimate scene between Reseda and Emily? I think I missed a metaphor.), but that actually may have been more of my fault as I found myself in speed-read, can’t-put-down mode. As long as you don’t mind tales that aren’t wrapped up in a pretty bow, you will enjoy this book immensely.

Scary good. SCARY good!

The Night Strangers
Chris Bohjalian

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