Unfortunately, I struggled to get into this book. Couldn't get into the mind of the character and the plot was quite slow.
It was well written and easy to read just not to my tastes.
My sincere thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to read this book.
A horror novel about menopause, womanhood, and the ways in which society both idolizes and shuns women - this was an interesting tale that read, to me, as more of a social commentary than a horror novel. The story centers on a town full of small minded religious people and a middle aged woman pulled there to care for her awful aunt who, despite her awfulness, is the only family the middle aged woman knows. As she contends with her own problems (chiefly, her visions of potential supernatural entities) and struggles, she learns of the town’s history embedded in cruelty and violence.
An interesting read for sure. I found it to drag a bit in the middle - but enjoyed it nonetheless.
Well, let’s start with kudos to the author. He definitely pulled off Mary’s character – I literally stopped reading to make sure that this wasn’t actually written by a middle-aged, angry, socially invisible woman.
Mary is believable. Her fury is also believable. While a few of the other characters were a little thin (as in mustache-twirling villain kind of thin), Mary seemed as real as I am.
The plot is definitely twisted, but fun. Not for the squeamish and, at times over the top (in an extremely entertaining way), the book is a delight.
I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but I definitely enjoyed the journey!
Looking forward to more from the author!
*ARC via Publisher
"Mary" is a thrilling piece of American Gothic literature that kept me on the edge of my seat. The main character is tenacious and I felt both trapped and enthralled by her journey. The plot was terrifying and felt like a cross between Midsommar and Kate Chopin. Apart from being absolutely terrifying and well-written, I enjoyed the book's commentary on the patriarchy and the unique experience of ageing as a woman.
I found the portrayal of medical discrimination and misogyny to be super realistic: the 49-year-old female protagonist tries to seek help for her strange affliction and is dismissed because of doctors' insistence that everything she is experiencing can be attributed to menopause.
Personally, this book and I did not get along, but I do think there's an audience for this. I found it to be a really slow burn with the plot shifting directions rapidly at around the 60% mark, but I think horror fans who like books that leave them a puzzle to work with will get more out of this than I did. It is also one of the most violent, bloodiest, goriest horrors I've ever read, so I wouldn't recommend it to those who are made uneasy by that sort of thing. Some of the images in this will really stick with me.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review
This is an incredible book with a 49 year old female protagonist who finds her inner-strength in the middle of a horrific ordeal.
I couldn't put this book down! From the first bloody moment to the final thrilling conclusion, Cassidy takes readers on a wild gore ride. Mary can't remember her past, so when her bad-mannered aunt falls ill, Mary returns to her little desert town seeking answers. She soon starts hallucinating, only to be told by doctors not to worry because she's menopausal and such symptoms are "textbook." As Mary's visions grow worse, she's convinced that all the answers she seeks lie in the shady murderous past.
Quick paced and filled with thrilling twists, this horror novel captures a reader's attention and refuses to let go. Mary is a believable and sympathetic character who may (or may not) be losing her mind. Like many women of a certain age, Mary's concerns are quickly brushed away by those in her life, but she can't ignore the horrific visions plaguing her or the gnawing voices in her head. The longer she stays in her hometown, the more memories get dragged to the surface, but what's real and what's only a figment of her imagination?
Cassidy nails the female experience, which is surprising since he's a man in his thirties. Don't let this fool you. His craft shines bright as he dives deep into the insecurities of a middle-aged woman. While this book contains feminist themes, it skillfully avoids being overly preachy. Instead, it sits firmly in the horror genre, ready to induce terrifying nightmares in those brave enough to go on Mary's journey. Hopefully, many will, because this book isn't to be missed!
An atmospherical American Gothic that goes over the deep end of horror into the realm of insanity. Just when you think the book has reached its climax, it goes on to astound you further. The most insane read I've had in a while.
Mary's made a career out of making herself invisible. As a child, she was bullied relentlessly at school. Her parents died in a fire when she was young, and she was sent to live with her crotchety old aunt. As an adult, she now lives alone with her little porcelain Loved Ones, works in the basement of a local bookstore, and generally tries to Be Good. Though there's more to Mary than meets the eye. And now she's starting to worry that she might be losing her mind.
Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, strange things are happening to her. The sight of her reflection in the mirror terrorizes her. If she looks for more than a second, her face starts to bubble and ooze and rot. And if she happens to look other woman her age in the eyes, their faces do the same. She's suffering from horrible nightmares, and the undervoice, a dark and nasty voice inside her head, is encouraging her to Be Bad. To do Very Bad Things. The doctor at the clinic chalks it up to menopause, but Mary doesn't buy it for a second. Something is very very wrong.
One panicked phone call from her estranged aunt seems to offer the perfect distraction, at the moment she most needs it, and she willingly heads back to her hometown. Though when she arrives, long forgotten memories begin to surface, and the mysterious Cross House begins to beckon her for reasons she will soon wish she never knew.
The perfect read if you enjoy unreliable narrators, small towns with dark secrets, and possession stories!
Very very creepy. Had definite Stephen King vibes. Just not something our customers would buy off the shelf, though I am happy to recommend and bring in special order. Good summer read I would suspect.
A creepy, sometimes graphic, story where things are not always what they seem! I loved the author's note at the beginning of the book. That made me even more interested in the book. This one definitely left me with nightmares for a while!
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the digital ARC. All opinions expressed are completely my own.
Mary is as unremarkable as her name, quiet and middle aged, she’s happy to blend in with the wall paper. But inside Mary, things are beginning to change and what she at first assumes must be menopause because of her hot flashes becomes something much darker. She begins hearing voices that command her to do terrible, unspeakable things. When she loses her job, Mary returns to her hometown, hoping to find some semblance of normality, but she sees horrible visions and begins writing things without conscious thought. Mary’s not losing her mind, she’s feeling and seeing the echoes of a serial killer….