Have you ever heard the saying “the black sheep of the family”? No? Well… this is when everybody in the family is good, white, fair and nice, but there is one little mother of a sheep that is bad, black, unfair, and totally not nice. However, in this book, this sheep is pitch black, evil, and totally unstable and crazy as a goat… so it is more like… Baphomet… Kind of… Yes… well… you will need to read it to agree with me and trust me because damn me, you will agree with me.
If you have read me already, you will see that I live suspended to this intrigue and anxiety that these books generate in me, particularly this author, who kicked me right in the guts with his style. You are about to find out what has happened in this freaking basement when the author just decides to go back in time 11 years! Like… really dude? But it was necessary, so damn necessary.
I think I am the kind of person that will judge a book by its cover, and this is one of those cases, and I can say that I am damn good at judging books (only one mistake I have made… where the book was not that good, for me at least) Anyhow, you know this was a sale, I was looking around and I bought it after having a whole debate with myself to buy it or not. One of the best decisions and best judgments.
I am not sure what is it about this book that caught me from the very beginning. It makes you wonder what is wrong with them, or with the author, or even with me/you. Humanity and real life are way scarier than a book or so they say. This book is not horrific but disturbing to a certain point… and I know something is wrong with me that I love this kind of books. This whole theme of dysfunctional families or couples are all over the map now (Gone Girl, the Girl on the Train, and such) and I have to come to like them a lot! but this is just beyond this world.
Can I consider this book Gothic? I think it is. The architecture of the “house” and the whole story goes around a basement house (3 rooms, 1 kitchen, and 1 living room). The box within a box. The house that is under a house. Darkness. The secrecy. The violence. The sickness. One of the multiple themes of this novel is isolation. They live on an island and are trapped in a basement. They have no human contact whatsoever to the point that they have lost their identity. These characters are just that, characters, they have no name, no last name. They could be whomever you think they are even your neighbors and that makes it even scarier. Another important theme is hope. This little light that is ignited by the need of going out, by curiosity. This little light comes in a shape of a firefly. Hope is what this insect brings to this little boy that will end up being the hope and scape of the family.
A series of events that are the repercussion of bad and evil decisions. “I will do whatever for my family” but how far can you take it? Paul Pen brings us in this novel a world full of lies, darkness, and secrets.
If you wish to check the Goodreads profile, hey! Feel free to go there! I have added below the link to the review and the rating I gave to this book.
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Thank you for reading!
“Find your peace, find your joy, find your book, and never let go”.