A House with Good Bones

Tor Nightfire. Mar. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781250829795. $26.99. HORROR
Thirtysomething Sam Montgomery is worried about her mother. Living in the family home she inherited, her mom is erasing her own personality in favor of her abusive mother’s—who is dead but apparently not gone. Desperate to determine whether her mom is suffering from delayed grief or early-onset Alzheimer’s, Sam digs into the family’s long-buried history, only to discover that her grandfather was an infamous sorcerer whose “sins of the father” are still being visited upon his descendants. Their house not only has good bones, it has strong teeth that are keeping out the stuff of nightmares. Told in the dry, sarcastic voice of wryly academic Sam, this starts out as a portrait of a dysfunctional family in a rational world. But readers are sucked into Sam’s fears as that veneer of normalcy is broken down piece by piece, until the vultures are literally circling the house and the past unburies itself.
VERDICT Highly recommended for lovers of Southern gothics, readers who like their horror to sneak up on them, and anyone who appreciates the voice of Kingfisher (What Moves the Dead), no matter what genre she’s currently writing.
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