Monday, October 24, 2011

The Night Strangers

The Night Strangers, Chris Bohjalian's latest book, had me from page one. I had read some reviews about this one, calling it creepy and spooky. Mostly I would say those words provide an apt description of this novel.

Set in the small town of Bethel, New Hampshire, the Linton family is trying to make a fresh start. Chip, the patriarch of the family, was a pilot until his plane crashed and 39 people on board perished. Although the crash was not his fault, he is consumed by guilt and is in counseling. His wife Emily has moved the family out of West Chester, PA, and begun work as a lawyer in a much smaller firm. Their ten year old twin girls are becoming accustomed to this new life as well.

From the first page, there is something creepy about the new house the Lintons purchased, and also the many women who grow herbs and befriend this family. While the Lintons don't suspect anything unusual, too consumed by the trauma their family has endured, the women's conversations made me very wary about their interest in the twins. It is obvious that something isn't quite right, but despite knowing this, I was still amazed when all was revealed.

As I raced toward the ending, I wondered how this story would be resolved. There weren't many pages left, not as many as I thought necessary to finish off this story, and yet somehow Bohjalian managed to create a satisfying -and creepy-ending.

Reviewers on Amazon give this an average rating, and while it may not be my favorite work by Bohjalian, I did enjoy the psychological thriller aspect of it. And as always, I enjoyed his writing style, and his New England settings .

I'm still waiting for a few of my friends to read this one because I'd love to discuss it.


Jill said...

Definitely not my favorite of his...ghosts AND witches? It was a little too out there for me.

Melissa said...

This sounds great. I've read both positive and negative reviews on it, but I do enjoy his books, so I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.