It’s about love, duty and community and it’s a bit like Wicker Man mixed with Midsommar and Final Destination.
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On the idyllic island of Lute, every seventh summer, seven people die. No more, no less.
Lute and its inhabitants are blessed, year after year, with good weather, good health, and good fortune. They live a happy, superior life, untouched by the war that rages all around them. So it’s only fair that every seven years, on the day of the tithe, the island’s gift is honored.
Nina Treadway is new to The Day. A Florida girl by birth, she became a Lady through her marriage to Lord Treadway, whose family has long protected the island. Nina’s heard about The Day, of course. Heard about the horrific tragedies, the lives lost, but she doesn’t believe in it. It’s all superstitious nonsense. Stories told to keep newcomers at bay and youngsters in line.
Then The Day begins. And it’s a day of nightmares, of grief, of reckoning. But it is also a day of community. Of survival and strength. Of love, at its most pure and untamed. When The Day ends, Nina―and Lute―will never be the same.
It’s officially Spooky Season so this small piece of folk horror satisfied my craving for strange and fascinating, while touching on so many aspects of responsibility, fate, sacrifice, duty and love. It has a Shirley Jackson-esque sort of slow burn quality that I really enjoyed. And I need you to read it as soon as it gets into your mailboxes because I have feelings and need to discuss them.
Need more than one book to get you through the month? I HAVE YOU.
October has some amazing new releases, especially if you’re looking for something to fit the season. A few of my favorites are:
The Night Ship by Jess Kidd – This epic historical novel illuminates the lives of a girl shipwrecked on an island off Western Australia and, three hundred years later, a boy finding a home with his grandfather on the very same island. This one is dark as hell and based on a true story I’m shocked I’d never heard of before. If you have the stomach for it I highly recommend it.
I’m Wearing Tunics Now by Wendi Aarons – A memoir about second acts, self-acceptance, and celebrating what happens when a woman gets older, wiser, and a lot more excited by sales at Eileen Fisher.
Ejaculate Responsibly by Gabrielle Blair – a provocative reframing of the abortion issue in post-Roe America that directs the focus on men’s lack of accountability in preventing unwanted pregnancies. People are going to be talking about this one, for good reason.
All That is Wicked by Kate Winkler Dawson- The fascinating true story of a serial murderer who was called “too intelligent to be killed”–and the array of 19th century investigators who were convinced his brain held the key to understanding the criminal mind. If you listen to Kate’s podcast you may think you know this story but there is so much more in this book.
Malice House by Megan Shepherd – A gothic sort of haunted house mystery about the power of stories.
The Dark Between the Trees by Fiona Barnett – A forlorn forest fabled to have a witch’s curse and a mythical evil creature known as the Corrigal roaming about it. A bit like Blair Witch Project mixed with The Others.
The Hollow Kind by Andy Davidson – A tale of the Redfern family’s battle with a cosmic horror in Empire, Georgia through two different timelines. A novel about legacy and the horrors that hide in the dark corners of family history.
Bad Vibes Only by Nora McInerny – Funny and relatable. So good.
I’m opening up the Fantastic Strangelings Facebook Discussion page for last month’s book, The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh but in case you don’t do facebook I’ll put my thoughts in the comments.
And I’m always looking for more creepy so if you have some suggestions for good horror books, let me know.
Until next month, happy reading and don’t forget to support your local indie bookshop!