Viking. Jun. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9780525559733. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780525559740. F
A small group of women bring utter creepiness into a grad school writing program. They call one another “Bunny” and come clothed in fluffy, childlike dresses, yet eventually their group mentality and clothing cannot hide their tremendously horrific alter egos. Another student in the program, the lonely, aloof Samantha, an anxious outsider, is dismayed to learn that an upcoming semester-long workshop will comprise just herself and the four Bunnies. She holds disdain for this “coven,” but with time she is surreptitiously lured into their web of evil. From there, she experiences shape-shifters and hidden demons that step in and out of the picture. Why has she been invited into the group? Are the gory, cultlike events that take place real or imagined? Are hallucinogens being slipped into the cocktails at their gatherings? The result is a somewhat twisted fairy tale with many villains but no heroes. Or are there?
VERDICT Intertwining a great deal of intrigue as she moves rapidly toward an enigmatic conclusion, Awad (13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl) uses lyrical descriptions and metaphors throughout that lend a bit of whimsy to an otherwise dark story that defies categorization. [See Prepub Aldert, 12/17/18.]
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