CamCat. Apr. 2024. 11:15 hrs. ISBN 9780744309560. $22.95. HORROR
This Italian haunted-house story features a generations-spanning curse affecting a soon-to-be-mother. The curse begins in the late 1500s when Maddalena and her family move to their new villa with a mill on the property. Maddalena’s fellow townspeople are distrustful of the medicine she practices, while the mill and her home are beset by several catastrophic accidents. In 1933, Sibilla moves to the villa with her engineer husband, ready to raise a family here, but they too are beset by accidents, and Sibilla begins to see strange shadow shapes and bizarre accidents that pose a danger to her, her unborn child, and her family. Narrators Rachel F. Hirsch and Eva Passeltiner keep the parallel narratives distinct, even as the story moves from one timeline to the next. Their characterizations work in tandem, with Passeltiner voicing Maddalena as a confident but harried mother and Hirsch depicting an increasingly unsettled Sibilla. The supernatural elements are more prevalent in Sibilla’s story, but Repetto (The Rose Master) gradually amps up the tension in both tales until they crash head-on into a heart-wrenching ending.
VERDICT Fans of Isabel Cañas’s The Hacienda and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House will savor this solidly scary yarn.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing