Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Thoughts - The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
published 2011
378 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts.

The home's new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, has to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure. Unlike the Miracle on the Hudson, however, most of the passengers aboard Flight 1611 die on impact or drown. The body count? Thirty-nine – a coincidence not lost on Chip when he discovers the number of bolts in that basement door. Meanwhile, Emily finds herself wondering about the women in this sparsely populated White Mountain village – self-proclaimed herbalists – and their interest in her fifth-grade daughters. Are the women mad? Or is it her husband, in the wake of the tragedy, whose grip on sanity has become desperately tenuous?

My thoughts -

Oh, how I wish I remembered that I never like the way Bohjalian's novels end. Now I would really like to un-read this book, but of course I can't. Egh. a novel, it's actually pretty good. The ghost story aspects are quite creepy, and I found the author's handling of the "ghosts" to be very effective. I was less enthusiastic about the side plot involving the herbalist women, and could see how that storyline would play out from about 1/3 of the way through the novel. I think if Bohjalian would have stuck with the ghost story and left out the rest, I would have really liked this book.

Unfortunately, there was the rest, and I don't want to say to much and spoil anyone, because I KNOW a lot of people read this author, and I don't want to discourage you from trying it out. I'm just saying that I wish I could wipe the last 5 pages out of my mind, but sadly I can't. So now I have to go read something with puppies and rainbows to try and purge this creeped out feeling I just can't shake.

Finished - 1/13/13
Source - South side library
MPAA rating - PG-13 for violence and scary stuff
My rating - 7/10 


Zibilee said...

I have this book, and have not yet read it. I am thinking of seeing if the library has it on audio, which, frankly, would get listened to faster than read. I have never read any of this author's work, so I am curious about this ending now! Great review today!

bermudaonion said...

Sorry to see you weren't crazy about this one.

Andi said...

I tried to read this and absolutely could not get through it. It just took entirely too long for things to really pick up steam.