They Drown Our Daughters

Poisoned Pen. Jul. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781728248202. pap. $16.99. HORROR
The latest from Monroe (All Darling Children) is a generation-spanning ghost story brimming with chills and family drama. The small coastal town of Disappointment Cove is haunted, which attracts the tourists, but whatever is in the waters there also calls for the women in Meredith Strand’s family to drown themselves. With her mother developing Alzheimer’s and her marriage in tatters, Meredith moves back home with her young daughter, even though her mother vainly tries to convince her that the curse is real. Then Meredith begins to hear the call of the thing in the ocean that wants company, eventually realizing that it also wants her daughter. The author has made an ambitious decision in having the story span generations of women. This means there’s a family tree’s worth of characters to keep track of, but the strong, main women protagonists help ground the story.
VERDICT The novel takes a while to untangle the mystery, but its themes of familial bonds and generational curses, along with its overall spooky atmosphere, should keep readers hooked until the end.
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