Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: (US) September 28th, 2021, (UK) Available Now
Synopsis: In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods, lives a family of three.
A teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, not after the last time.
A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory.
And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible.
An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all.
Rarely has just reading the synopsis for a book made me so desperate to get my hands on it, and rarely have I begun a story with certain preconceived notions, only to be taken on a journey so profound it moved me to tears. As usual, I will endeavor not to give away too many spoilers, but there are several themes that I feel I must provide warnings about. These include: Serial killers, child abuse (physical and psychological), child murder, and Dissociative Identity Disorder. As you can guess, The Last House on Needless Street will not be for everyone. It deals with extremely difficult subject matter, and I admit I found myself numerous times wanting to take a break, yet at the same time I couldn’t tear myself away. I never would have guessed from the opening chapter, where this tale would end. It starts as a sort of gothic-like horror, with what seems to be a little magic realism mixed in, courtesy of Olivia, the Bible reading cat, but what this turns into is a deeply personal exploration of the awe-inspiring power of the mind to adapt and survive truly unimaginable circumstances. In her afterward, Catriona Ward talks about how The Last House On Needless Street came to life, and the research she did into DID. Even without reading that, it’s obvious she did her due diligence, but it gives further insight. This latest offering from Ward is receiving well-deserved, widespread accolades from bestselling authors like Stephen King, Joe Hill, Joanne Harris, Alex North, and Sarah Pinborough, and the film rights have already been scooped up by Andy Serkis’ production company, Imaginarium Productions. All I can say is this is an instance where you can believe the hype. As I stated above, it won’t be for everyone, but if you decide to try it, you’re in for an utterly heartbreaking yet in the end, heartwarming story with memorable characters that I guarantee you’ll never forget.