A house with good bones

T. Kingfisher

Book - 2023

"T. Kingfisher's A House With Good Bones is a contemporary Southern Gothic from a master of modern horror that explores the deep, dark roots of family and in which grandma's ghost haunting your house may be the least of your worries. In this ordinary North Carolina suburb, family secrets are always in bloom. Samantha Montgomery pulls into the driveway of her family home to find a massive black vulture perched on the mailbox, staring at the house. Inside, everything has changed. Go...ne is the eclectic warmth Sam expects; instead the walls are a sterile white. Now, it's very important to say grace before dinner, and her mother won't hear a word against Sam's long-dead and little-missed grandmother, who was the first to put down roots in this small southern town. The longer Sam stays, the stranger things get. And every day, more vultures circle overhead... "I was compelled to read the book in one breathless, white-knuckled sitting. Vultures, ladybugs, and underground children, oh my!"-Paul Tremblay, author of The Pallbearers Club "Wickedly witty, intensely scary, and a thoroughly modern take on the Southern Gothic, about thorny family secrets that refuse to stay buried."-Rachel Harrison, author of Cackle Also by T. Kingfisher Nettle & Bone What Moves the Dead"--

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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor New Shelf SCIENCE FICTION/Kingfisher, T. (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 22, 2023
1st Floor New Shelf SCIENCE FICTION/Kingfisher, T. (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 29, 2023
Horror fiction
Gothic fiction
Paranormal fiction
New York : Nightfire 2023.
First edition
Item Description
"A Tom Doherty Associates Book."
Physical Description
247 pages ; 22 cm
Main Author
T. Kingfisher (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Kingfisher (What Moves the Dead, 2022) presents a southern gothic with a twist, swapping out an isolated mansion for an unassuming tract home in a North Carolina subdivision. When her latest dig gets canceled, Sam, a 32-year-old archaeoentomologist--she studies bugs at archaeological sites--goes to stay with her mom in the home previously occupied by her abusive grandmother. When Sam arrives, her mom is acting as if she is under surveillance, and there are vultures surrounding the house. Immediately unsettled, readers will quickly fall into Sam's conversational narration as she injects nerdy humor, worries about her mom, and shares facts about bugs, her grandmother's rose bushes, and more. As each day passes, things get stranger and more dangerous, and it becomes undeniably clear that something supernatural is at work--and then the wild and witchy, action-packed final act is unleashed. For fans of stories that take the haunted-house trope and overlay occult themes with generational trauma, like The Good House, by Tananarive Due (2003) and How To Sell a Haunted House, by Grady Hendrix (2023).

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Hugo and Nebula Award winner Kingfisher (What Moves the Dead) goes Southern gothic (Waffle House visits included) in this hilarious and gruesome contemporary horror novel. After archaeoentomologist Sam Montgomery's dig gets put on hold, she drives to her deceased grandmother's house in rural North Carolina to spend some time with her mom. The vulture waiting for her on the mailbox doesn't seem like a good omen, nor does the strange absence of insect life; her mother's anxious, odd behavior; or Sam's new, mysterious bouts of sleep paralysis. Sam digs into her family history in the hopes of discovering medical information and scientific explanations for the weirdness--but instead she finds deeply buried horrors that are out to destroy Sam; her mother; her grandmother's rival, wildlife rehabilitator Gail; and even the local handyman, Phil. Sam makes a charmingly kooky narrator, and Kingfisher remains the best in the business at using horror and fantasy to explore abusive relationships and how to escape them. Horror fans who like a little whimsy on the way to a chilling climax won't want to miss this. (Mar.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Sam Montgomery is an archaeoentomologist--she studies insects on archaeological digs--but her latest project is on hold indefinitely after human remains are found. Needing a place to stay in the interim, she returns home to North Carolina to stay with her mother, who is living in her childhood home. Sam is surprised by the drastic change in her mother's behavior, along with the house's strange new decor. As literal vultures stand sentry over the house, Sam tries to rationalize the lack of insects in the garden and the bizarre events happening at the house, while worrying that her mother is suffering from dementia. Digging into their family history to find some answers, Sam uncovers secrets far more surprising and horrific than she could have imagined, and that past will not stay buried. Narrator Mary Robinette Kowal wonderfully conveys the wryly funny prose and the creeping horror of the story. Giving each character a distinct voice, Kowal deftly and consistently moves between them and superbly renders Sam's voice. VERDICT Both fantastic storytellers, Kowal (The Spare Man) and Kingfisher (What Moves the Dead) are a perfect pairing for this excellent Southern gothic, an essential purchase.--Melissa DeWild

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