Macmillan Audio. Oct. 2023. 13:04 hrs. ISBN 9781250291677. $26.99. HORROR
Cassidy’s (Mary) creature feature borrows heavily from the basic premise of Ira Levin’s novel Rosemary’s Baby and builds on it. One could argue that down-on-their-luck married couple Reid and Ana are cursed—Ana often does. The birth of their daughter, Charlie, leaves Ana paralyzed from the waist down, and postpartum depression sinks its claws deeply into her. Meanwhile, Reid is forced to stay at his soul-sucking job. Things seem to be looking up for the young couple when a housing lottery allows the family to move into an apartment in Manhattan’s palatial Deptford building. Then Ana starts to notice strange things about the building and its inhabitants. Not only that, but she isn’t sure about the weird bite marks on her baby. The story takes a while to get moving, but once it does, it unashamedly digs into the emotional pressure points of parental and marital anxieties. Narrator Cassandra Campbell delivers a riveting, multifaceted portrayal of Ana, which, combined with Cassidy’s viscerally described body horror, makes the book’s slow start well worth riding out.
VERDICT A novel for fans of the monstrous and grotesque. Share this menacing listen with fans of Chase Novak’s Breed or Ben H. Winters’s Bedbugs.
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