I received this book free for review from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. Despite the coolness of receiving a free book, I’m absolutely candid about it below because I believe authors and readers will benefit most from honest reviews rather than vacuous 5-star reviews.
The nutshell view on this book is … well, complicated. Our protagonist is pregnant with a long-awaited child but before she can give birth she’s cast into this surreal Jungian alternative existence where she must essentially do battle with the archetypes of human psychology to get her baby to come out into the light of the world. The important thing to know about this book is that it’s twisted and at times rather non-deterministic and not like any book you’ve ever read.
To the positive, the book defies all previous standards for what a novel should be. Whatever Hollywood standards you have in mind about the classic American family should be manfully thrown out a window. This book takes all that and twists it provocatively into something new. I’ve read a lot of books in my decades on this planet but never a book that was simultaneously so horrifying and bizarre while retaining a strong thread of realism and remained so grounded in the everyday. The author’s use of imagery is keenly creepy and will remain firmly lodged in my brain for an extremely long time. This is an exceptionally well crafted bit of prose.
To the negative, I’m not sure that this will be everyone’s cup of tea. This book is at times dark, hopeless and always keeps the reader guessing. Lots of what’s in this book doesn’t entirely make logical sense but that’s exactly the joy of it for me. Those wishing for a more straightforward narrative will be disappointed but anyone wanting a rollercoaster of almost Lovecraftian murk will be very fondly attached to this novel.
In summary, this is a twisted and dark tragic tale of one important life as it makes its transition into the world. I can imagine this very easily as the opening novel in an epic series. Exceptionally impressive. And I don’t say that at all lightly.
PS: I hope my review was helpful. If it was not, then please let me know what I left out that you’d want to know. I always aim to improve.
By Rob Slaven