A House With Good Bones
by T. Kingfisher
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Pub Date 28 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 15 Apr 2023
Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire
A Barnes & Noble Best Horror Book of 2023
A haunting Southern Gothic from an award-winning master of suspense, A House With Good Bones explores the dark, twisted roots lurking just beneath the veneer of a perfect home and family.
"Mom seems off."
Her brother's words echo in Sam Montgomery's ear as she turns onto the quiet North Carolina street where their mother lives alone.
She brushes the thought away as she climbs the front steps. Sam's excited for this rare extended visit, and looking forward to nights with just the two of them, drinking boxed wine, watching murder mystery shows, and guessing who the killer is long before the characters figure it out.
But stepping inside, she quickly realizes home isn’t what it used to be. Gone is the warm, cluttered charm her mom is known for; now the walls are painted a sterile white. Her mom jumps at the smallest noises and looks over her shoulder even when she’s the only person in the room. And when Sam steps out back to clear her head, she finds a jar of teeth hidden beneath the magazine-worthy rose bushes, and vultures are circling the garden from above.
To find out what’s got her mom so frightened in her own home, Sam will go digging for the truth. But some secrets are better left buried.
Also by T. Kingfisher
Nettle & Bone
What Moves the Dead
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 531 members
Another win for T. Kingfisher! A spunky, relatable protagonist, a creeping evil, and a fresh look at the garden witch and unexpected horrors, this book was as horrifying as it was lovely. Full review to come on Rue Morgue.
Once again Kingfisher delivers a beautifully written novella. I found the atmosphere to be spooky and creepy which added to the story. It was plenty creepy as well. Characters are interesting and I particularly like the relationship between mother and daughter. I like the author's writing style and how well they describe creepy settings. Kingfisher is becoming a favorite horror author of mine. Her stories are sweet and spooky. Perfect for Halloween time or anytime.
This is it. T. Kingfisher is an auto buy author for me. I was sold on What Moves The Dead and I haven't been able to stop talking about it with everyone I know. But that book had a very specific sort of audience. An audience who is already familiar or comfortable with horror and EAP and general eerie mishaps. THIS book, is a horror book for everyone. Really. It's true. This is the horror book for people who don't really believe in ghost stories, and aren't entirely sure how they feel about wizards, or monsters, and are maybe a little more comfortable during the daylight in small towns where people are more concerned with being normal than having ghosts or wizards or monsters in their home. And THIS book is about one of those people, who doesn't believe in all of this nonsense and spends a very long time looking for scientific explanations meanwhile I had heart palpitations every time something chaotic and insane happened. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to dip their toes in horror, or who has a fondness for haunted houses, vultures, ladybugs, or roses.
An absolute must read for all horror fans!
Sam is visiting her mother in her childhood house while being furloughed from an academic gig and comes to discover that not all is right at home. It starts with the little things: everything is ecru now, there's a Confederate wedding painting on the wall, and Mom seems really into saying grace and speaking kindly of Sam's terrible, dead grandmother. The roses outside are devoid of insect life save for ladybugs and, being an insect person, Sam is bewildered by this. She's also worried about her mom. Maybe it's dementia? Maybe she's losing her mind?
Little things start to happen that are easy to write off at first. A swarm of ladybugs, for instance. Some sleep paralysis. Nothing to freak out about. But then Sam starts asking questions, looking into her terrible grandmother's family tree, and finds a great grandfather who was friendly with Aleister Crowley. Things spiral from there.
I really loved this book--from the slow spiraling of the mystery surrounding the house to the breaking open of Sam's family secrets. Not only is Sam an excellently drawn character, but the setting is also perfectly pieced together. You can just see the newish subdivision shoved into rural Southern fields and trailers where it doesn't belong. The way the horror story really suddenly blooms is also perfect. Loved everything about this weird little story.
I read A House with Good Bones in one sitting, fueled by a feral delight in the creepy, unsettling narrative that T Kingfisher has crafted. This is jumping to the top of my hand sell list the moment that it comes out, and I can't wait to start recommending it.
The story follows Sam, a sharply witty but unintentionally blunt woman on furlough from her academic job, and Sam's mother Edie, a nurturing soul with a rebellious spirit who has lately begun to withdraw and shrink in a way that is concerning her children. When Sam comes to stay in the small southern suburban home that her grandmother passed down, she becomes concerned about changes in her mother and in their home. Dark omens build up around them, and darker family secrets slowly start to unravel around them.
Kingfisher has a gift for characters, creating an enthralling dynamic between the different generations of the family. Each of the women are strong in their own way, protecting their families in their own way. The revelations throughout the plot serve to increase the depth of these characters, intensifying the strangeness of the dynamic.
The plot is wonderfully weird, with unexpected turns. Instead of relying on jump scares and surprise twists, the story unfolds like a horrific dreamscape. It makes good on every promised crumb of foreshadowing, including the title, until you see it unfurled in its grotesque entirety. The surreal, sharp-witted tone reads throughout, turning the story into a wild ride.
Kingfisher is excellent at writing stories that engulf you without overstaying their welcome, and this is another excellent addition to their bibliography.
Bizarre, creative, incredibly well-written, and everything else I've come to expect from a T. Kingfisher book.
Back home due to a delayed work project, Sam Montgomery can't help but notice how strange her mother is acting. Once colourful and fun, the family home has been reverted back to Sam's late (and abusive) grandmother's plain style. Even the hated Confederate wedding portrait is back. Could it be dementia? Delayed grief? Sam is determined to get to the bottom of her mom's odd behaviour, but the truth is unimaginable, entangled in all the dark family secrets hidden in Gran Mae's picture-perfect rosebushes.
As with other Kingfisher protagonists, Sam was an excellent, well-developed character. Relatable and funny, with a very interesting passion for archaeoentomology that felt real. The side characters were good too, offering quite a bit to the story. (My favourite would be the quirky neighbour who rescues wildlife and has a little one-winged vulture friend named Hermes!)
A House With Good Bones has great writing, a quick pace, and monsters so creepy and surreal that I don't know how they landed in the author's imagination. I was definitely afraid to fall asleep for a while after reading this, and I'll be looking at rosebushes differently from now on.
I can't praise A House With Good Bones enough. If you like weird and creepy, I'm sure you'll love this as much as I did. Get your hands on a copy when it's published March 28, 2023!
I loved this beyond belief and, by the way, I now want a vulture.
If you do not want a vulture after reading this book, you are probably a horrible human who needs to be devoured by the hungry white things that lurk beneath.
This book is wonderfully witchy. I loved all our characters (even one who was wrong and creepy). The book manages to be mystical and funny, yet also grim and scary in all the right ways.
I tore through this one with pleasure and just wanted more when it was all over.
Oh, and a vulture. I wanted a vulture.
• ARC via Publisher
T. Kingfisher is one of my favorite authors. (The only one whose books I will autobuy.) This title is no different. Absolutely loved the story and the atmosphere. Honestly, I dont know what else to say. Every book I've read by this author has been a 5 star read for me.
T Kingfisher DOES NOT MISS. This is southern gothic in a way that feels so fresh and grounded and scary AF. Her heroines always feel so devastatingly normal that it makes the scares all the more scary. Add in a whole host of amazing side characters and quite the twist and this book is unputdownable.
This was my first T Kingfisher book and let me tell you I am impressed.
This book was eerie and creepy at the same time. Perfect for spooky season!
A southern gothic featuring an old family home, vultures, roses, and hauntings. When Samantha Montgomery’s archeology expedition is cut short she decides to visit her mother again after her brother calls her with concern. Now she is coming back to their old family home where they lived with Grandma Mae... a cruel old woman who made their lives miserable and had passed away. Upon arrival Sam is met with a huge vulture perched on the mailbox staring at the house... if that wasn’t a bad sign, she then sees her mother who looks worse for wear and is acting extremely strange, it doesn’t help that Sam begins to see strange things herself, hearing her grandmother’s voice and the strange rose bushes that grow in the garden that have no bugs.... which should be impossible. Now Sam finds herself begin to suspect something much more implausible is going on... and her memories of her childhood with her grandmother begin to resurface... soon she’ll dig deeper in dark family secrets and find herself facing off against horrors she never expected. I absolutely loved reading this one, it was such a fun southern gothic and I loved the use of roses and vultures in it. Seriously this was a great read!
*Thanks Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*
A House With Good Bones is a fun, quirky, and exciting ride of a ghost story. Our protagonist, Sam, easily pulls you right in and keeps you fully engaged with her conversational narration; and it’s fun to watch her slowly wrap her scientific mind around the reality of magic and ghosts. That leads me to my biggest point: this story was just as entertaining as it was eerie.
The one thing I am coming to appreciate about Kingfisher’s writing, above all, is just how funny it can be. I have never been so amused reading horror. The best thing about it is that the humour- for me, anyhow- doesn’t take anything away from the horror. It just all works together to make a richer reading experience. I was still plenty creeped out by all the weirdness going down in Gran Mae’s house. I’ve come to judge the merit of a horror novel not by how edge-of-your-seat, can’t-read-fast-enough thrilling it is, but by how much of an excitable, running commentary I keep for my husband. You know I’m really into the story if I can’t stop interrupting my own reading, just to tell my husband how screwed the characters are or how creepy-crazy things are getting. As I read this one, I just couldn’t shut up.
I also love when I’m able to recognise people I know in books, and Sam reminds me so much of my own biologist sister that I’m considering buying her a copy, when it releases. My inner pop culture geek was positively screaming when Aleister Crowley made his way into the narrative (fun unrelated fact- Jimmy Page, of Led Zeppelin, bought Boleskine House, because he was just that much of a Crowley fanboy). Little connections like that always amuse me endlessly, and they always make the story seem all the more real.
I can’t wait for this to hit the shelves.
I think at this point I can say there isn't a horror (or any other genre) I won't read from T.Kingfisher. Would it be impossible to just have the arc's sent to me without me requesting them? Pretty please?
My thanks to NetGalley for making an eARC of this book available to me.
This is the perfect book to read on a stormy night, assuming you don't want to be able to sleep until the following day. It moves from disturbing to scary to downright terrifying.
The author continues to present us with well developed characters who feel real, and who we can't help but root for as they dig themselves into and out of some horrifying situations. We get vultures and ladybugs and roses and good family and bad family and good neighbors and bad neighbors and plenty of bug-talk.
First off, thank you so much to #Netgalley, the publisher and especially the author for this ARC!
Okay so T. Kingfisher is in my top 3 favorite authors…. This book was incredible! I love every book they have written, they are so easy to read and keep you on the edge of your seat. When I got the ARC for this book I actually did a little dance I was so excited! My favorite book by them this far was the hollow ones but this book gave that a run for its money…. This book was so creepy and atmospheric and I already preordered a copy for my own collection. Do yourself a favor, go in as blind as you can to this book and enjoy!
T. Kingfisher is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors of all time. I absolutely love her writing style, and her horror novels are always unique and completely chilling. I love a good haunted house story, but Kingfisher takes it to the next level with A House With Good Bones. I really like how much thought Kingfisher puts into her main characters: they're not just cookie-cutter final girls. Sam was a great main character, and I liked the fun facts and witty remarks her knowledge of insects brought to the story. The tension was built up perfectly as Sam struggled to figure out why her mother was acting so strange. The last bit of the book was unbelievably creepy, and I don't think I'll ever want to have a rose garden now. 5/5 stars.
T. Kingfisher gets better with every book - this is her best yet in her growing collection of horror titles. I loved the way this book has a very slow creep. For the first quarter of the book, it's still, "This all seems pretty normal, and something is just a little, tiny bit off, and knowing that I'm reading a Kingfisher horror book makes me very suspicious about these rose bushes." By the time things start going terribly wrong, it's almost a relief, because the tension of waiting for the shoe to drop was getting unbearable. Strong recommend.
Another winning book from T. Kingfisher, it does everything that I was hoping for and I really enjoyed the way it was written. It worked so well as a Southern Gothic novel, it had a great plot going on and did what I was hoping for. The characters were interesting and they felt like real people. I look forward to reading more from this author.
“I think it’s the same principle.” The authors of this particular book selection assumed that of course the reader knew what the Age of Horus was and also presumably why someone would want to bring it about. Parsons had consulted Elgar about this project, according to the footnotes, but it said that Elgar had been “dismissive of his plans” and “warned him against his stated goal of shattering the boundaries of space and time.”
Another winner from T. Kingfisher! I love the gothic elements of the book and the plot is creepy. One of the best things about her writings are the well developed characters and the touches of humor.
“Anywhere there’s people, there’s a possibility of evil, wouldn’t you say?”
A House With Good Bones is everything you want in a horror/thriller/gothic book. Creepy, weird, mysterious, fast paced, and did I mention, weird! Throw in hilarious dialogue, a hugely likable cast of characters, and great setting and you have a 5 star book. Kingfisher made it impossible to put this book down and had me thinking about it when I was not reading it. I did not expect it to go where it was going and I loved the weirdness of it all. Do yourself a favor and pick this up!
If you’ve ever had the privilege of living for a time in a haunted house, then you’ll be pleased to know that T. Kingfisher does a superb job of perfectly capturing what it is like. If you are like me, scientifically minded and quite skeptical regarding supernatural occurrences than you will completely relate to the protagonist of A House With Good Bones, Sam - an archeologist specializing in insects who ventures home to live with her mother in her grandmother’s house in between digs. Sam quickly realizes that all is not right with the house or her mother who starts to exhibit signs of being nice and normal, mimicking the personality quirks of her deceased grandmother.
A House with Good Bones is a cleverly written horror story with enough snappy wit to keep things real and enough action and creeping horror to keep the pages turning. Kingfisher’s newest novel is sure to delight fans of Grady Hendrix and anyone who grew up watching The ‘Burbs. Highly recommended!
Huge thank you to NetGalley, Tor Nightfire, and T. Kingfisher for an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.
One thing I love about this author is that she can tell a heck of a story without rambling on into 400 plus pages. She is able to get right to the heart of each book efficiently and while still giving you the full experience. I loved the southern setting and gothic atmosphere. This novel was original and thought provoking.
Once again, T. Kingfisher has written a spooky book that makes your heart race from page one, full of dread and the fear of awful consequences (while light on violence.). The supernatural threat - while present - takes a backseat to family fears in this one. Beginning with a daughter's sudden realization that her mother isn't herself (and the creeping, paralyzing fear of dementia, which robs us all of our loved ones), it circles into realizing how the effects of terrible parents can trickle down through the years, and how we choose to express those effects can stretch beyond the grave.
I can't recommend her work strongly enough.
A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher
Publication Date: March 28, 2023
Sam returns to her childhood home for an extended stay but it quickly becomes evident that her mother is acting strange and Sam can’t let it go. There is a buried jar of teeth in the garden and vultures circling overhead and she is desperate to find out the rationale behind these rather odd occurrences.
What to say about a book where I really think the less you know, the better your reading experience will be? I guess thank you to the author for unlocking a new fear… GARDENING. I will not be sticking my hands anywhere near a flower or worse… into the ground *shutters* anytime soon. Kingfisher has managed to take the mundane and twist it into this creepy crawly tale releasing just in time for gardening season in the northern hemisphere!
Written in her usual twisted but charming manner, Kingfisher tells a tale about an intergenerational trauma in a family home. Snarkier and more sarcastic than her last novel, it still packs its punch.
If Kingfisher writes it then I will read it (and during so frequently question her sick and twisted brain and then mine for picking it up and enjoying it)!
Thank you to Tor for providing an advanced reading copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was another great T. Kingfisher novel! I really enjoy Kingfisher's ability to create and entire cast of likable characters and her ability to weave them into complicated and increasingly-weirder situations. A House With Good Bones was a perfect combination of humor, horror, and the supernatural.
I have found myself continuously recommending T. Kingfisher's books to fans of folk horror and this books will be no exception. There are moments in this book that were deeply scary and I am glad I wasn't home alone when I read this title. And like the other books that I have read by this author A House with Good Bones is filled with warm humor, excellent character development, and obscure information that you can use to impress your friends (in this case, archaeoentomology).
This was my first T. Kingfisher book, but I can confidently say it won't be my last!
Horror is pretty hit or miss for me, but I absolutely devoured A House With Good Bones. There was a lot of build up and suspense, which made the creepy moments hit that much harder when they did occur. As someone who lives in North Carolina, occasionally has sleep paralysis and has recently had a ton of vultures in their yard, this book got to me in a way that no other horror book ever has. I always read at night, and I was genuinely spooked during some of the scenes.
One of the reasons horror is hit or miss for me is because I feel like as soon as the "monster" or entity or whatever you want to call it is revealed, any unease I felt immediately disappears. This was not the case with A House With Good Bones. The Gran Mae scene was genuinely creepy and the underground children even more so.
Unexpectedly, there was a lot of humor in this book, which I greatly appreciated at 2 am. Sam had me laughing out loud multiple times. Her dry wit, bluntness and fascination with bugs reminded me so much of my sister it was uncanny. Her head was a delightful place to be in. Such a great protagonist, and I really enjoyed the side characters as well!
Overall, this was a great spooky read and I definitely recommend!
I always look forward to a new T. Kingfisher book and this one doesn't disappoint! Perhaps a little more slight than her recent books, but a fun haunted house family trauma drama read. If anything I'd like it to be longer!
She did it again y'all! She did it again!
And here I thought she couldn't top her previous books.... Pshhhh! I was dead wrong!
A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher is her best yet IMO! I know it's my favorite.
The way she creates the atmosphere is so chilling and creepy.
Her writing as well was so intricately written, beautiful and just completely captivating. As usual.
T. Kingfisher certainly knows how to pack a punch and end with a bang that is both satisfying and leaves you craving more.
Dark, twisted, suspenseful, A House With Good Bones has all the elements of a Southern Gothic tale.
Give me more please!
It's official I will read anything she creates. She writes it, I'm reading it!
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this eARC!
Thank you to the publisher for the copy - all opinions are my own.
This book is INCREDIBLE - it is the exact perfect mix of mystery/horror/paranormal and is so uniquely done that I could not set this book down if I tried.
I loved everything about this book - the characters (a lead character who is a socially awkward nerd who studies bugs?? Possible witches? Crazy conspiracy theory neighbor? Yes, love it), the pacing (steady build up to explosive conclusion), the intensity (things aren't quite right, but you don't quite know why), the twists....its all so wonderfully packaged together, and executed to perfection.
Paranormal horror can be a bit hit and miss for me, but I was 100% in to how this story unfolds. It has all the right elements without being insanely over the top and wild. I would pay good money to see this book made into a movie - it would be phenomenal on screen.
Overall, this is a must for winter reading lists - its the perfect story to escape into on a cold wintery day.
T Kingfisher has quickly become my favorite horror author. I found this book so mysterious and haunting…not quite knowing what was happening and then BOOM huge plot twist that was so wild I beg of everyone not to spoil it! Fantastic, wild read.
T. Kingfisher's novel "A House With Good Bones" builds beautiful tension from the very first page. Sam's world and family seems to just be completely and fully formed from the first word. The overall building of suspense is accomplished with such skill that you can almost feel the hairs on the back of your neck standing up one by one. The journey that Sam takes through this story to discover if there's something going on with her mother is an absolute roller coaster that is worth every twist and turn.
Every time I read a book by T. Kingfisher I love it a little bit more than the last. This book was absolutely no exception.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest and fair review.
A creeping book that manages to stay whimsical, how I wish it were autumn when I started in on this. Kingfisher is a delight and this title is no different, I am glad to have had a chance at it. Thank you to both Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity with this title.
Going back to one’s childhood home after years away can be a strange experience. It’s not home anymore but you can still remember where everything goes, how long to stand scrunched up against the wall of the shower while the water gets hot, and which threadbare oven mitt to avoid when helping in the kitchen. But when Sam temporarily moves home in T. Kingfisher’s astoundingly good novel, A House with Good Bones, she finds a childhood house transformed. That’s when Kingfisher starts peeling away the onion layers of Sam’s family. Sam is baffled, then unsettled, then horrified—taking us with her into a disturbing family mystery.
When Sam left to pursue school and a career as a paleoentomologist (she studies the remains of insects at archaeological sites), her mother had replaced most of the signs of her mother (Sam’s grandmother) with bright colors and unusual art. Sam and her mother had mostly put the memory of Granny Mae to rest with relief. The old woman was sharp-tongued and fierce about maintaining traditional proprieties. Sam is shocked when she returns to her childhood home to find everything changed back to the way it was. At first, Sam looks forward to spending time with her mother, drinking boxed wine and watching British mysteries, while she waits for word about whether or not the dig she’d been planning on going to is permanently canceled or not. Sam’s hopes of rest and relaxation start to evaporate when she realizes that her mother is behaving as though Granny Mae is just around the corner, ready to swoop in with a scold or a put-down.
The tension tightens quickly as even stranger things start to happen. What’s up with all the vultures? Where are all the insects in the garden and why are there ladybugs in swarming in Sam’s room? Why won’t her mother be honest about what’s clearly going on? I loved how Kingfisher paced this story, with Sam’s scientific mind slowly accepting the definitely illogical and unnatural around her. Events happen quickly—but are never rushed—and build up to an absolutely outstanding climax. Readers, I inhaled this book.
I think even readers who aren’t into the supernatural element will enjoy A House with Good Bones because there is just so much here to love. Sam is such a wonderful character that I wish we could be friends. (I love her habit of wandering around hunting for bugs to identify.) Her relationship with her mother is beautiful to watch. It’s clear that these characters love and worry about each other, even if they don’t entirely understand each other. The hunky (and very helpful) landscaper Phil is just icing on the cake. This book is already one of my favorite reads of the year.
This was spooky yall.
A House With Good Bones is the perfect southern gothic. It has the perfect amount of spooky with humor that I loved
Sam is staying with her mother for a few months due to human remains being found at a dig site for her job. But as she stays with her mother things appear to be...off. When her mother inherited the house from Sam's grandmother, she painted the walls fun bright colors. Now they're eggshell white. They look exactly like when her grandmother owned the house. Things continue to escalate and Sam has to unravel what is wrong with the house.
So glad that I was gifted this ebook by NetGalley and Tor! This book is much sillier than I anticipated, and sometimes I wished it was more serious but I did giggle a few times. If you are interested in more positive horror novels this is for you. I loved the villian(s) and thought it was creative. I did get a little creeped out a couple times. I've only read one other book by this author and I intend to read more
T. Kingfisher always knocks it out of the park. A House with Good Bones is about Sam who returns home after a job at an archeaological site is delayed. However, the house isn't what she remembered and something her mom seems...off. Sam tries to ignore her mom's strange behavior, but soon it's impossible and she starts trying to discover the truth.
This was so creepy and so good. I love the way T. Kingfisher does horror.
I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is only the second T. Kingfisher book I have read, but I absolutely loved it! This book was a southern Gothic tale, reminiscent of Rasputin and Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein. I made myself try to read this book within the timeframe of the book (it was written over the course of approximately 10 days). It was so good that I continually got ahead of myself. This book made me laugh while also leaving me slightly horrified. This was probably the most irreverent eldritch horror book I’ve ever read. I loved all the vulture facts that I learned and I’ve already been telling people more than they want to know about vultures because of this book! I thought it was interesting: the actual villain of this book isn’t even in the book. It kind of speaks to the impact that we have on the world around us even after we are gone. However, that did leave me feeling some kind away about the supposed villains that were left behind. I’m not gonna lie. I kind of feel like they were victims themselves and I wish they could have some closure. Reading this book has made me decide to read T. Kingfishers backlog because I love their writing style and the character development. The other book I read of theirs also had excellent character development so that seems to be consistent for this author. I will be recommending this and already have been recommending this while I’ve been reading it to everyone. I will also be requesting that my library purchases this book.
A House With Good Bones is a wild, intoxicating, confusing, addicting story. I sat and read it in almost one sitting. It felt so original, and even when I thought I knew where it was going, I was never correct. It's been a long time since I've come across such an excellent use of foreshadowing.
(warning some parts might be a little uncomfy if you're squeamish)
4.5 stars - I would describe the tone of T Kingfisher's horror as normcore; she's not going to create a creepy atmosphere with flowery prose or elaborately described settings. Rather, she uses very ordinary people in very ordinary settings and then allows the dread to grow. I LOVED what this did metaphorically; basically a take on the white millennials' growing horror that their parents are being taken over by racism via alt right sources. There are some technical critiques I could make but this was just 100% for me
I really liked this one! It was odd and different and totally unique! I saw it going somewhere else entirely but I appreciate the unique and new storyline this took on. Thank you NetGalley and TorNightfire Publishing for this ARC.
I don’t think I’ve read a book by T. Kingfisher yet that I haven’t really liked. This quick read is a Southern gothic horror. An archeological entomologist goes to stay with her mom, who lives in the house that was her grandmother’s. Her mom is acting weird and super anxious. And then…stuff. I don’t want to say anything that would spoil it. But there’s stuff. And then there’s creepy stuff.
There are some great personal touches that I appreciated, like how the main character likes British mystery shows. (I do, too!) There are funny parts, and overall, this was a great book. I really liked the characters. It comes out March 28! Thank you to Tor Nightfire and NetGalley for my copy.
Woof. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a full-length horror novel by one of my favorite authors. I knew firsthand how good Kingfisher is at making you scared, and I was more than a little terrified to see what she did inside A House With Good Bones. Like, I’m a wuss, and I don’t handle being scared very well, but honestly? This book was awesome. Kingfisher is a master at work here, guys. She knows exactly how to make you wish the protagonist was somewhere else entirely, but also how to make you wonder what exactly is going on. Allllll while laughing a little bit. Yeah, she’s a favorite author for a reason.
I will never get over how relatable Kingfisher’s main characters are. They’re almost always out of their twenties, and almost always sarcastic and wildly intelligent. Sam fits every one of those bullet points to a T, and and she’s fat. Excellent representation here — Sam doesn’t care about her appearance very much in the book — she’s much more interested in figuring out what the hell is going on at her mom’s house. Her need to figure out what is going on with her Mom was just…really nice. Sam tried just about everything she could to help her mom.
I loved how much I wanted to know what was going on, but also dreaded reading the next word on the page. There was exactly one point in the book where I set it down for a few minutes because I had to nope out for a minute. (Teeth!?!?) I took a breather, ate a piece of chocolate, and hopped right back in. The mystery at hand was way, way too interesting for me to give up the book. NOT that there was ever a danger of that happening. I trust Kingfisher too much to step away from one of her books. Though I may have nightmares about our backyard now? Thanks!!!
ANYWAY, what I’m saying is that if you like horror even a little bit, please try this one out. It was creepy, and suspenseful, but I don’t know that it ever dipped out right into horrifying. I felt dread rather than fear for 90% of the book. The book ends nicely, too, which was a relief. I wanted there to be a solid reason behind everything, and there is! To no one’s surprise, this was five stars.
Now, excuse me while I never plant roses ever.
Thank you NetGalley for the advanced copy to review.
Oh my gosh! I just finished this book and I am not sure I can find words to do it justice. I absolutely love T. Kingfisher's writing. She is able to create a world and characters you care about in such a short amount of pages. She truly has a gift for writing.
Sam, an archaeoentomologist, knows almost everything about bugs. Her latest dig gets put on hold and she decides to go visit her mom, who lives in her deceased mothers house. As soon as she gets home she can tell something is not right. Mom is too thin and anxious, she has reverted the once vibrant paint colors back to Gran Mae's boring ecru colored walls and hung up the Confederate Wedding painting. Gran Mae was abusive and cared about nothing but her roses and even after her death they have thrived without care. And what it with the committee of vultures that watch the house?
You will not be disappointed with the latest gothic horror from Kingfisher.
T. Kingfisher is officially an auto buy author for me. A House With Good Bones is Kingfisher at her best. It has the perfect blend of atmosphere and characters that are relatable. When we first meet Sam, it’s like running into to an old friend and catching up on what you've missed. She fills in the backstory as needed, when you need it. The other characters help flesh out a highly realistic portrait of living in a small neighborhood in rural NC. Also, having grown up and lived in rural NC for quite a while, I loved seeing references to local small towns and regional items (hello Cheerwine). It added a whole extra level of authenticity to the story.
This is a well paced story that doesn't have a lull. The reader has time to learn new information and digest it before getting a new piece of the puzzle. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a spooky, gothic story. Kingfisher thoroughly uses the location, characters and generational relationships to build a solid story to examine the impact of previous generations on current society. I can’t wait to add the next T. Kingfisher book to my TBR.
*Thanks Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review.
I LOVED this! T. Kingfisher has the best way of writing horror that is absolutely hilarious!
Premise: Sam is an archaeoentomologist (aka she loves bugs and dirt). When a dig site gets compromised, she decides to visit her mother in North Carolina. Sam begins to notice changes in her mother and weird mementos from her racist grandmother begin to pop up. As Sam investigates why her mom's health is declining, things get weirder and weirder.
Overall, this was definitely more humorous than horror (which I was perfectly happy with). T. Kingfisher did a great job with the story and added in commentary about academia that I adored.
The little girl that went to bug camp when she was younger (i.e., me) had the best time reading this book.
As much as I love this author’s fantasy romances, I simply adore her horror stories. This is a tale of a woman, an archeologist, specializing in old bugs, who goes home on a break from work and notices something odd going on with her mom and the house she lives in.
The weirdness starts immediately, almost as soon as Sam steps out of her car and onto the property in rural North Carolina. There are vultures perched outside… in fact there are vultures everywhere. And her warm, slightly sarcastic mother seems to have changed. The house is also undergoing a change, the vibrant walls are back to the plain ecru, the painting above the fireplace has been replaced with an old, racist relic, and the house itself feels heavy and weird. And the roses? What the hell is going on with the roses?
This story kind of plods along, slowly revealing the horror that Sam’s mother has been living with. From the plethora of vultures to the weird dreams Sam is having, and the introduction of a family history she only begins to learn about as she rambles around the house, this author lays out the players in this mystery piece by piece until the big climax and resolution.
The dialogue is at times lighthearted and fun, even as I was on the edge of my seat I actually laughed a few times at certain snappy comebacks, and the characters are well-drawn. In each of her stories, the characters are so relatable and easy to connect with, which makes their predicaments that much more fraught with tension. I think fans of this genre or author will immediately fall into this story and not come up until the last word on the last page.
This is another great read by T. Kingfisher. Highly recommend.
Thank you to Tor Nightlife and NetGalley Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Sam Montgomery is on a break between entomological digs, and decides to spend her break visiting her mom. Her mom inherited Gran Mae’s house, and instinctually, even 20 years later, Sam still calls it her grandmother’s house.
When she arrives, her mom doesn’t look well. She’s dropped a ton of weight, she’s anxiety ridden, and worse yet, she’s remodeled the house from her eccentric taste to exactly how Gran Mae had it. Sam, a scientist first and daughter second, needs answers. She needs to get to the bottom of this. ASAP.
T Kingfisher is a genius. This is my first read of their work and holy crap I couldn’t put it down. From the worldbuilding to the monumental dread you feel while reading, I almost fear a reading slump in the near future from how fantastic this was.
This is another spooky home run for T. Kingfisher. It has all the hallmarks of a great Southern Gothic read--creepy family history, weird neighbors, and something not quite right both inside and outside of the house. I love the vultures in this, and the use of entomology as the entryway into seeing something is very off. The characters are excellent. The main character is a scientist, it’s like a perfect fusion of Lovecraft and Southern gothic, and it’s just the right ratio of spooky to science. I love that the signature pet animal in this novel is a vulture. The whole thing with the photo is so deliciously creepy. And I love that as always, trips to a coffee shop are vital to the character’s sanity. The way the sense of foreboding increases steadily until everything goes off the rails is so well done.
It also, like all of her horror, seems like the characters do what real people faced with utter weirdness would actually do, which I always find refreshing.
Can T. Kingfisher please just write ALL the horror stories? Please?
This books is pleasantly terrifying. I'm not much of a horror reader, but I love Kingfisher's more fantasy leaning books, and this one somehow spoke to me. The only thing I was the tiniest bit disappointed in was the speed of the end. The majority of the book is ramping up, slowly adding scary detail after scary detail, until the end when, quite honestly, we slip sideways into crazy town. It totally works, but it is very much a 'you have hit the top of the roller coaster and it's just flailing wildly at high speed from here.' It resulted in my staying up just a smidgen past my bedtime, since there were only 40 pages or so to go, and it got VERY exciting. Sam is a wonderful main character and I very much enjoyed the entomology information scattered throughout. I learned things about ladybugs! And had to image search a particular kind of larva, and it was just as creepy looking as she said.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing an digital ARC for review.
Creepy and sarcastic in the best possible ways. I have been on a Kingfisher kick lately and this has to be the one so far! I can't think of single thing that would have made this better!
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
Entomophobes beware: this book will give you the heebie-jeebies. Yes, I chose that word with deliberate care: you will feel dread, you will feel disgust, but mostly you will have a feeling that seems, on the surface, to be slightly absurd and embarrassing but that will remain an indelible, whole-body revulsion nonetheless. Is it a bit silly to be afraid of—just say, for random example—ladybugs? Probably! Will feel the irrepressible urge to brush a horde of imagined little crawlers off you? Also probably! I certainly did. I have a phobia of insects, and T. Kingfisher’s newest horror novel A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher slowly but relentlessly played on that fear—much to my delight. Regularly reading horror can leave you numb to horror. Kingfisher doesn’t let that happen.
Full review to be posted to Ginger Nuts of Horror before publication date.
Well, this was not what I expected. The last maybe quarter of this book is where everything goes nuts and in a bunch of different directions. I loved it. It's a slow burn, at first. I feel like it really got started about halfway through, but I really didn't mind the lead up. It made the end that much more unexpected and crazy. It was a pretty quick read, but I can't tell if it was because it wasn't super long or because I couldn't put it down!
Sam Montgomery never thought she would find herself back in her Grandmothers house, but after her most recent dig was postponed and a worrying call from her brother, she see's it as the perfect time to check in on her mum, and as soon as she see's her, she know's something is wrong. Sam's mum has lost weight and seems overly protective and jumpy, and add that to the decorative changes to the house and Sam is definitely worried. The more time Sam spends in the house, the more she realises there is something wrong, Vultures seem to circle it and finding a jar of teeth buried in the back garden certainly doesn't seem normal. To find out what's going on, Sam will have to go digging into her families past, learning their secrets. But with secrets come's danger, and these are secrets that are certainly better left buried.
I loved this book, so bloody much, and that was large in part to Sam, our MC. She's a character I couldn't help but bond with pretty much instantly. Her wit, scientific mind and hopelessness when it comes to the opposite sex make for a character that is easy to empathise with, and I loved all the little bits of introspection we got, whether these were to do with her uncovering the mystery of the house, or little insights we get from her about bugs thanks to her being an archaeoentomologist, someone who studies ancient bugs. She is described as fat, but has such a healthy relationship with her body, as well as her family... well most of them anyway, and I loved all of her interactions with her mother, as well as the other characters we meet along the way.
Kingfisher keeps our side cast tight knit, but that benefits us because we get a good insight into all of the characters, and they all play a part in the story some way. From Sam's mum who has gone from being vibrant to a shell of the woman she was before, to Gail, the woman Sam's Grandma used to religiously call a witch, Mr Presley the nosy, curtain twitching neighbour who has an unhealthy relationship with the government and Sam, Mr Presley's grandson and Sam's mum's gardener/handyman. They all add to the tension, drama and sometimes the hilarity of the story, and were all brilliantly brought to life.
If I had to use one word to describe this book it would be creepy, and that was a word that Leah and I threw around our discussion because it wasn't outright horror, there were no jumpy scary scenes, and even the ones filled with tension, and there were plenty, were almost watered down thanks to Kingfisher throwing in her standard dark, witty and sarcastic humour. I can't tell you how many times this book made me chuckle, even at the peak creepy moments, and this meant that I enjoyed it more because I never felt overly scared at any point. The story builds slowly, there is a lot of introspection and Sam trying to work out what the hell is happening, but you know that something is going to happen, you just don't know when, and when it does the story takes off at a break neck pace and I was glued to the pages.
What starts off as a haunted house story, transforms into sometime much much creepier, and it's only through Sam's delving into her family's past that we start to see the pieces come together. Leah and I both had a few theories as to where the story was going and we were so close, but Kingfisher managed to throw a few twists in there to keep us on our toes. We spend a lot of time building up to the big reveal, but Kingfishers writing style brings a heightened level of tension to the story that keeps you in it's grips, so between that at the random bug and vulture facts that were thrown in ( I love a story where I learn something) this was a story I seriously struggled to put down.
Leah described this as a cosy horror and she really nails it on the head (has she created a new sub-genre, who knows?), it's creepy without being overly scary, humorous even at the darkest times and filled with brilliantly written characters. I already loved Kingfishers writing, but after loving this so much I will definitely be checking out her horror backlog as well as all the fantasy's I already have on my TBR.
Kingfisher has such skill with crafting the slowly creeping in horrors that A House With Good Bones. Kingfisher's style is more spooky unsettling and I like it. A lot. There's slow spiraling mystery. Believable and relatable situations. Just GOOD writing.
CONTENT WARNING: fatphobia, blood, gore
Once again, I had a wonderful buddy read with Becky @ Becky’s Book Blog. Both of us are a little bit on the scaredy cat side of things when it comes to horror, but Kingfisher’s books seem to fall more on the side of what I’d call … cozy horror? If that’s even a thing, and if it isn’t, it is now. Let me get into why I call it that.
I’m certainly no connoisseur of horror books, but I have read a few Kingfisher novels, and really enjoyed each of them. Just like in her other books, she incorporates a wonderful mix of dry, witty, sarcastic humor and just the right amount of creepy tension to make this the kind of book that we couldn’t put down. In fact, we found ourselves rushing through the discussions so that we could get back to reading to find out what happens next.
I absolutely loved the main character, Sam. She’s fat. She’s smart and nerdy. She’s in her early 30s. She’s hilarious. And her internal banter was the kind of internal banter that I find myself engaging in. As an archaeoentomologist, she’s got a doctorate and works on archaeological digs, examining bugs to learn more about how people of the past lived. But it also gives her an almost encyclopedic knowledge of insects, and she gets excited about them. I love a nerdy character, and Kingfisher wrote a fantastic fat character. Despite growing up with plenty of fatphobic comments, she has a healthy relationship with her body, and I absolutely loved everything about Sam. Part of what I especially enjoyed was the way that she spent so much of the book trying to fit what was happening into the paradigm of scientific and logical thinking, even when there wasn’t necessarily a logical or scientific explanation possible.
The relationships in the story were wonderful. Sam and her mother, her brother, and the other people in the neighborhood were all done beautifully. There were some relationships that were healthy and supportive, others that were unhealthy and dysfunctional, but they all felt incredibly realistic. Every character who was introduced was well-developed and nearly all of them played an important role in the story, and I enjoyed getting to know each of their different quirks. I have to admit that I adored Phil and was team Phil all the way.
As for the horror, instead of being terrifying, this was more creepy than anything. That isn’t to say that I’m not going to struggle to fall asleep, because I’m pretty sure that I will, for at least a couple of nights. And I’m definitely going to avoid rosebushes for a while. But what I most enjoyed was that this was so much more than a haunted house story. While the haunted house reveal was relatively obvious, that wasn’t the twist in the story. The big reveal was so much deeper and creepier than anything I was expecting, and I joked around with Becky that I’d have to change my gasp factor to an “eek factor” because I literally kept saying, “eek” while reading. Becky and I really worked to figure things out, and no matter how hard we tried, we got close but didn’t quite realize how deep this reveal was going to run.
Overall, this is peak Kingfisher at her finest, and I loved every second of this hilarious, creeptastic story. It had me laughing out loud, and I loved the fact that it taught me a few random facts about bugs and vultures (yes, vultures). I’m not going to be the most fun person at parties if I bust out these facts, but it’s definitely a fun book if you aren’t afraid of a little creepiness, and you like to laugh. As I said, cozy horror.
Yes! I loved this creepy book by Kingfisher. An unassuming MC who is just a plain Jane visiting her mom for a short visit in between jobs. Moving back home is never an easy feat, especially as a grown adult. Our MC comes home and quickly notices strange behaviors and changes that quickly escalate into horror. I loved this story for the MC, Samantha "Sam", her quirky mom , Edith, and the characters on the street, including the vultures! A fun but action packed horror book typical of Kingfisher, leaving me wanting more books like this! Great for fans of horror, fantasy, paranormal>magic all with a sense of humor.
Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
In A House With Good Bones we follow Sam who’s staying with her mother while her work is on hiatus. Her mom’s been acting a bit off however, especially when the topic of Sam’s grandmother comes up. As Sam tries to figure out what’s going on with her mother things start to get stranger and stranger and things from her family’s past start to come to light.
This book was so delightfully fun, bizarre, and creepy scary. T. Kingfisher’s writing unfolds so effortlessly and was easy to fall into. The pacing was just right to get to know the characters and follow the clues and background of what was happening in the story and build tension. I love the unique protagonist and the different characters we encounter and the use of nature and the occult was really fresh and interesting.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Well, you had me at "Southern Gothic." I love a good creepy story. As a lover of a good creepy story, I picked up on little things that I think any avid reader would. Noises, responses, reactions, things that are just a little off. Fairly standard, scary story fare and I settled in for a relaxing (*giggle*) creep out. Nothing over the top, just enough, you know? Then, the story amps up a bit and it's legitimately scary. And yes, a vulture showed up in my dreams afterward.
Sam is perfect. Realistic, concerned, but not dramatic or a pushover. She is the perfect narrator for a story that takes a little laxity on reality to deliver a truly well-turned tale.
Kingfisher is pretty masterful. Just enough creepiness to make me look over my shoulder myself, mixed with some truly funny internal and external dialogue. I'm going to have to find her other books.
Kingfisher is becoming one of my favorite authors. What Moves the Dead was one of my top favorite reads last year and A House With Good Bones is just as enjoyable. This story is creepy and hilarious--a tough combination to pull off. Sam is visiting her mother and notices odd behavior. The behavior gets worse, family secrets are revealed, and shit gets CRAZY. I don't think I'll ever look at a vulture or ladybug in the same way again. Or roses. I do want to say that the word "racist" must have appeared 50 times in this book. I'm white and I live in the south and Kingfisher made it seem like those two things automatically make me racist. Had the concept not been mentioned ad nauseum I could have overlooked it but so many times seemed accusatory and stunted the flow of the story. Big thank you to NetGalley for an ARC.
T Kingfisher has rapidly become one of my favorite horror writers ever.
I loved this book--from the main characters, to the family dynamics explored, the weird people in the subdivision, to the all the creepy and awful things happening in the house.
It's hard to talk about this without giving away spoilers, but if you like her other books, you'll enjoy this one.
I reiterate for the thousandth time, there isn’t a book T. Kingfisher writes that I’m not inclined to love. While I didn’t find this one as terrifying as her other works (not her fault to be fair, there isn’t much out there that can beat the deer bone effigy in The Twisted Ones), it was still a wonderful read that I was more than happy to devour. I love the various ways Kingfisher explores family, legacy and horror in her works and this one was no different. Her sense of humor makes even the scariest of scenes manageable and the way she creates characters that make you feel like you’ve known them forever is magic in and of itself. I also loved the unconventional horror setting too! Gothic mansions and old houses in the middle of the woods are creepy by nature, but it takes an incredibly skilled writer to make a little suburban house that’s less than 30 years old and surrounded by lush rose gardens feel ominous and creepy. Horror in gothic settings is terrifying enough, but horror in “nice and normal” settings are something else entirely. Overall, an easy 5 stars and I cannot wait to see what Kingfisher comes up with next!
(Thank you netgalley and tor night fire for gifting me one of my most anticipated reads of 2023! Opinions are of course my own, but I am willing to give you my first born child for ARCs of any of Kingfishers future works, just saying)
This is another great book by T. Kingfisher. It's the right level of spooky with some delightful characters. The book starts slow, gently easing you into the house. You get a hint something is wrong but you can't quite pinpoint it. Only as the week goes on and more things start happening do you realize the full extent of the problems.
This was a solidly delightful read. Fresh take on a gothic haunted house and a relatable sarcastic mc. There’s something about the writing that makes it easy to read- there’s a familiarity and a charm to it- starting off 2023 right!
Will be reviewing a physical copy of this one. Thank you again for the ARC and hopefully this opens up a space for someone else.
Atmospheric, so much so I could nearly smell the roses. Some authors have a special talent and command of setting, Kingfisher is one of those. This time in a small southern town with old southern rivalries and neighbors with history and drama to spare - but even they don't know the half of it.
What sold me as a southern-gothic horror and maybe a haunted house turned into a creepy tale of ancestral magic, disgusting creatures, and family secrets that even a haunting can't make right. Our heroine is real, relatable flesh and bone with insecurities and endearing quirks. Her path of discovery is full of oddities and strange realizations, spine-tingling encounters with something unidentified but very real. It was refreshing to see her remain in the spotlight and not be overshadowed even by some helpful neighbors with special talents.
Recommend to read with the lights on. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, this is my honest review.
In 2022, T. Kingfisher became one of my favourite authors. I love her creativity and creepiness so much, and the fact that I can never predict what she’ll write next.
A House With Good Bones is addictively weird. I thought I knew where it was going, but each page revealed more strange and creepy twists.
The book begins with Sam Montgomery, an archaeological entomologist (or is that entomological archaeologist? either way, get ready for lots of cool facts about bugs) arriving at her mother’s house for an extended visit. Sam’s surprised when she walks in to see the house restored to the way it was when her grandmother still lived: the walls have been repainted from colourful to white, there’s a creepy old portrait above the mantel, and her mother is clearly scared of something. There are a bunch of vultures perched outside watching the house, and strangely no insects anywhere to be found.
I adore Kingfisher’s protagonists and Sam is witty, smart, nerdy, and wonderful. The novella had me laughing on one page and squinting my eyes in fear on the next. I won’t say more because it’s too fun going into A House With Good Bones without any previous knowledge.
Kingfisher fans will love this book, and it’s a great entry point for new fans, who will be quickly won over by her humour and imagination.
Thank you to Netgalley and Tor Nightfire for my review copy of this book.
What a fun, clever, and completely engrossing book this is. This can best be described as a Southern gothic ghost story but it's much more than "just" that.
Our protagonist is an entomologist and, for perhaps the first time in a horror novel, the author nails this field of work for what it really is. The bugs here aren't used as a source of terror but a fascination for both the character and the reader. I've always loved insects and bugs, so reading this made me happy.
But there are plenty of scares here as well. Underground children, vultures which have a strange attraction to the house in question, and of course, a ghostly presence. .
This is all written about with an underlying sense of humor which will make you laugh but never to the point where it detracts from the scary stuff.
I definitely recommend this book!
Another T. Kingfisher masterpiece. A House With Good Bones had all the unease,dread, and Southern/Appalachian Gothic of The Twisted Ones.
Sam was an MC I could relate to wonderfully in good and sad ways. I will always love the author for making older, fat MCs that still can be heroes.
Wickedly fun and clever dialogue.
Magical, creepy world buildi g made all the scarier for how real it felt. I was lured in by the real scien e and historical figures until it felt like I was reading something that could happen next door.
I did not dare glance out my window or investigate a strange noise last night.
I liked this one! All around a solid read. I will definitely be recommending this one, and I'm excited for my library to get physical copies!
As soon as the book started with Sam arriving at her mother's home and finding a Vulture perched atop her mailbox I was sucked in. I love how T. Kingfisher writes such realistic characters and is able to mix humor and macabre. She puts these weird things in the most mundane of places... Like how could a 30-year-old house in a suburban subdivision have anything like this happening? (it makes me feel like if I look out my window right now something weird could be happening just out of my line of vision.) There is a sort of building tension and feeling of dread as these at first small freaky things begin to happen to Sam and slowly get weirder and creepier. And for the most part, Sam is able to just brush it aside with an almost completely logical explanation and just keep going... At least until something appears... and there is no more brushing anything aside anymore.. and while that seems like one of the most horrible things that could happen it actually just the beginning.
T. Kingfisher writes the best books, and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next!! Thankfully I have some of her backlist books to read to tide me over until then...
A House With Good Bones was exactly the right kind of spooky that I was looking for. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it, but I loved every word of it!
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I am the type of person that loves the gross and unusual - so when I saw the cover for A House with Good Bones I went ‘Oh no!’. Vultures are one of my favorite birds and they’re almost always associated with bad things. I should have known better. T. Kingfisher has done it again with this fantastic horror that looks at family, the burdens you inherit and how to facing those down.
Sam is returning the the home she lived in with her brother and mother and grandmother after being furloughed from her job as an entomologist at a dig site (Hello dream job? Is that you?). She’s incredibly logical so when strange things start to happen around her she brushes them away or stretches to find a rational explanation. Logic and reason start to fray however and eventually the past comes back to haunt her and her mother.
I’ll go ahead and say I think this book is a bit slower paced than some of T. Kingfisher’s other work so it might not be quite the hit for some readers. However, for me it read like a perfectly paced horror movie - and that was just what I wanted. The book is full of the interesting, and realistic side characters you’d expect from a Kingfisher novel. The book is as clever as Kingfisher’s always are and it says things that honestly resonated so deeply with me it hurt.
T. Kingfisher lives in an area somewhat local to my own so when she started to describe the ingrained white racism of Sam’s grandmother I went ‘My god, it’s like she knows my family.’ That casual Southern Racism and obsession with class and appearance. The hit that perfect mix that made me uncomfortable and frustrated and all the feelings with the main character. I really, really connected with that.
This was just another fantastic read from T. Kingfisher. I cannot wait for more, and I can’t wait to get the physical copy of this to reread it, let’s be honest.
5 beautiful Black Vultures out of 5
I loved this. A haunted house story done in a way I’ve never seen before!
Sam returns to her childhood home, where her mom is acting strangely and redecorating. Sounds innocent enough, but with Sam, we uncover what is happening.
Scary, funny, and with a fun narrative style that I really enjoyed. I’d recommend this highly!
This is a little outside of what I usually like to read, but figured I'd give it a go anyway. I thought the author lost me completely at chapter twenty - I'm not good at suspending belief. But dammit if chapter twenty didn't tie everything together nicely. I loved everything about this book. The cover is eye-catching, the writing is great, the author's imagination is wonderful, even the vultures are endearing. And I have things in common with a main character - I'm fat and drive an aging Subaru. This is a book that I'm going to be thinking about for a while.
T. Kingfisher knows how to write creepy. A House With Good Bones is such a phenomenal exemplification of their very specific writing talents, and utilizes them incredibly well.
Oh my! I'm in love, I can't even tell ya'll how much I loved this. I loved What Moves the Dead and I adored this just as much. As someone who loves all the little critter friends (they are, without exaggeration, one of the most integral components to what keeps the world running... without them, we would literally cease to exist), I related so much to Sam; it was awesome that Kingfisher made Sam's passion and career as a bug lady such a central part of the story, Perfect amounts of creep, touch of grossness, and smart, witty humor. I couldn't have built a more perfect book for myself!!
"A House With Good Bones" is a southern gothic filtered through gen X and I loved it. Deliciously creepy (rather than outright horror), funny, and the most sympathetic portrayal of a vulture that I've ever read.
It's also about family and how sometimes we can recognize that family members were awful people and you don't actually have to forgive them for that and that's okay.
T. Kingfisher is one of my must-buy authors and I've never been disappointed (scared out of my ever-loving mind, I"m looking at you "The Twisted Ones"!) by a book of hers.
If T. Kingfisher writes it, I'm going to be thrilled to keep reading it... this was terrifying and hilarious and bonus points for the vultures. I love the protagonist in this, the supporting characters, the novella format of the story was structured, paced, and wrapped up well!
thanks to the publisher and netgalley for an advance reading copy <3
A HOUSE WITH GOOD BONES was simply...wonderful!
This is a tight novella with short chapters you can rip right through, and I'll warn you now, you probably will. The story is a compelling mix of southern family drama, Southern Gothic, witches, folk horror, humor and vultures. That's right, vultures.
This novella is so charming that it's easy to downplay the horrors of it, but horrors there are! Mark my words there are a few jaw dropping scenes here that I won't soon forget, nor will you. Kingfisher writes characters that you can easily relate to and care for, which helps to make those horrific incidents even more tension filled because you want these people to survive.
I'm relatively new to T. Kingfisher's work but the last two novellas of hers I've read worked so well for me, they've motivated me to read more of her work, and soon. As for now, I highly recommend A HOUSE WITH GOOD BONES!
Available March 28, 2023
*Thanks to Tor Nightfire the paperback ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*
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