What an absolute pleasure this novel is. From start to finish, I was enthralled by every word. Every sentence. Each turn of the page. I simply could not put this one down. It being set in the ’90s certainly set the tone.
Patricia, mother of two and housewife, befriends four other women in a book club. They read true fiction novels, of all things. One hot summer night, she is attacked by her rabid neighbor and loses an ear. Literally. When her neighbor’s nephew, James, begins living in the house next door, strange things start happening. Kids from a nearby neighborhood are getting sick and dying.
Patricia, busy keeping her house running and taking care of the senile mother-in-law, Mary, she discounts her suspicions as paranoia. That is until their house is invaded by rats while the family is out. Mary is the only one home, left to the care of Mrs. Greene. The rats, thousands of them, invade. Mary is killed and Mrs. Green escapes by locking herself in a tiny bathroom.
The police don’t find Patricia’s suspicions about James seriously. Her husband condescends to her and tries to put her on medication. Her closes friend and book club member refuses to believe her. Her children look at her as though she has lost her mind. So, for several years, she pretends that everything is fine. And for the most part it is, until Patricia catches James feeding on her daughter.
I won’t tell you the rest because it is simply too delicious a book to ruin for you. I suggest you read it. Now. Don’t wait another day. This novel is what would happen if Dracula happen to pop in on Dolly Parton and Sally Field if Steel Magnolias took place in Charleston. It drips with southern charm. Bloody red charm.
This book is easily one of my favorites. In my top ten. It has the humor of Fannie Flagg and the horrifying descriptions only Stephen King could invent.
Four out of four stars. And then some.