Friday, October 12, 2007

Read This while I'm Gone

We're heading up to my MIL's in a few hours and will be back on Sunday. While thanks to the magic of BlackBerry I'll still get my emails, I probably won't respond unless it's fairly urgent, especially tomorrow when we'll be in London.

So, I've been wanting to talk about this book for a looong time, and here it is. The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns. I've mentioned it a few times, but now that fall is here I decided it's time to blog about it.

I love this book. Seriously love it.

In the main it's a fairly humdrum tale, really. A few girls go missing in a small Northeastern town. But the book itself is so much more than that. It's about secrets, and how we never really know what's happening in other people's houses or in their heads. It's about how quick we are to mistrust even people we consider friends. It's about how little it takes to turn good people into bad ones.

It's a slow book. After an absolutely knockout opening--one of the few books I've ever picked up in a store that completely hooked me with the very first sentence--we get a lot of stories that seem to go almost nowhere. It's not boring or unecessary, though. Dobyns builds his universe carefully and draws us in, so by the time the first girl goes missing, about halfway through the book, we have a very good idea of where we are and what kind of place we're in.

It's not really a mystery in the pure sense. I figured out whodunit as soon as we met that particular character, and I think anyone with sharp eyes will see the clues Dobyns plants. It's not really a thriller either. And it's not horror.

But it is a very atmospheric tale of suspense. It's a very, very spooky book, and genuinely spooky books are treasures when you find them.

Go read it (if you want to, of course), and tell me what you think.

And have a great weekend!


Sam said...

I read this about a year ago, I think. I did love it - it was on my mother's keeper shelf which is why it's not at my house, lol. I read it but she said, 'That one stays here!'

Charles Gramlich said...

I haven't heard of this. I wonder if it's been released in the States yet.

M. said...

hi, first time here, came over from 'dear author' because i wanted to say - yes! yes! exactly what i've been saying all along! my borother-in-law's ex-girlfriend (who was raelian, if that makes any difference) said in her previous lives, she had been an egyptian queen, a high priestess of some sort, and the wise woman 0f an indian tribe. because she was an extremely touchy person, i never dared ask why past lives seem to ALWAYS involve egpytian royalty, and why no-one is ever the chamber-pot emptier or something.

Rebecca said...

that sounds good and I shall definitely be checking it out! thanks for the recommendation.

Rebecca said...

I'm back and it looks GREAT December - I've ordered it from Amazon already.

Anonymous said...

I got that as a hand-me-down not too long ago (if anyone I know is getting rid of books I take 'em). After reading a couple other rather blah mysteries included with this one I decided to just file it on the to read list. I think you've just moved it up.

Anonymous said...

M. I was a eunich once, and a bar wench in Victorian England. My husband's most often spoken about past lives are once as a farm wife and once as a ship captain who went down with his ship. Not all past lifers are Joan of Arc or royalty.

Scary Monster said...

Me not too certain iffin me gonna be able to get me hands on that book, but you make me mind water at the thought of reading it.


Rhian / Crowwoman said...

have a fabo time sweets!
errr - are we talking past lives here? boy, do i have some stories... and lessons learned.

December/Stacia said...

Cool, Sam, I didn't know you'd read it! It's so good, isn't it? I read one of his other books--The Boy in the Water--but didn't like it as much. :-(

It's an old book, actually, Charles. My copy was a remaindered trade paperback but I believe it's been rereleased mass market. It's on Amazon at the very least.

Lol hi M., thanks for the comment! I know, it's so silly, isn't it? Everybody used to be Cleopatra, nobody used to be a prostitute. :-) Tee hee the chamber-pot emptier.

Please let me know what you think, Rebecca! I can't wait to hear!

You too, Michele, let me know what you think! M. and I are talking about a certain type of person who claims to remember their past lives--the fake ones, if you know what I mean. Not everyone who has past life experience sor has done regressions or whatever. The ones who just "feel" somehow that they were a Druid High Priestess and that gives them Teh Speshul Powers.

December/Stacia said...

Amazon is your friend, SM! We rely on Amazon for everything these days, lol.

Thanks Rhian! I'd love to hear your stories.