House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy
December 23, 1777
It is over now, sister, but for how long?
From our window I still see the Drop. I see the fields and forest where we once played. I can still see our brothers tumble in the grass and hear the elder tree whistle as the wind tears through its branches. However, I know in my heart that it is all gone. It is gone and it still not return in this life.
I am cold, Kathy. I see my breath and I cannot feel my feet, but I do not care. Not even fear is left in my heart. Fear has departed with hate and anger, and hope has been a stranger for longer still. Now there is nothing left but me, and I cannot face my reflection.
I've had House of Echoes on my Kindle since 2015 - unread until now. As I was looking for books that might work for fall reading and R.I.P. XIII, I ran across the audio that was available from my library. I decided to try this debut novel which blends horror and mystery and thriller all into one. The audio portion was narrated mostly by George Newbern with the help of Allyson Ryan. I liked this story set in upstate New York. It had hints of Stephen King and a few others as well. I think it has mostly been compared to King's book The Shining, but it reminded me more in many ways of his made-for-TV mini-series, Storm of the Century. There is a family that moves to the area where the husband's grandmother was born. They need a fresh start and decide to purchase a large property and turn it into an exclusive inn. Each member of the family has had some problems, but they are hopeful that the future will be brighter. Maybe not...
I was really caught up in this story. Brendan Duffy drew me in and I wasn't sure if Ben, the husband and father, was reliable or not. Caroline, the wife, seemed more than a little stressed or maybe just in need of mental health therapy. The young boy, Charlie, has been bullied at a previous school and so enjoys the freedom to roam the forest and discover new things. However, he runs across some strange tracks and doesn't share everything with his parents. Bub, the baby, is the only normal one. He loves everyone. The people of the small village of Swannhaven are sort of friendly and then the reader isn't sure what their real aim is for the Tierneys. There is an odd history in the area going all the way back to the late 1700's. I liked the letters interspersed throughout between two sisters and wasn't completely sure how they applied to the current situation, but it all came together in the last part of the book. I liked House of Echoes and look forward to reading this author's newest book, The Storm King. Have you read either of Brendan Duffy's books? What did you think of them?
Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.
When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.