“She sings off-key until she’s gray all over, limbs as stiff as a marionette doll’s. Exhausted, she doesn’t push her sister-in-law away the next time help comes. All the while her feverish head never stops whispering, “I am the madame of the house, and it knows, it knows, my dear little rat.” Her fingers trace figure eights over the walls before being dragged away. “It knows.”
A spooky book and just the right one for the moment I was in!
In this one we follow a girl going to Vietnam to visit her dad. Along with her is her younger sister. Her mom and her younger brother are also along but they are visiting other family members. We quickly learn why our MC was so eager to see her dad despite not being a fan of him, she needs money for university. Her parents are not together but not divorced so no scholarship for many reasons. I felt for the MC, but I loved that she gave it a shot. That she agreed to help out.
But her dad? I wanted to punch him many a time. He was just a dick. And with the ghosts, he got even creepier. I hated how he shoved the blame to Jade (our MC) for why he left. WTF dude, you aks a kid that and on top of that it was a super vague question. throws a table
The ghosts were a delight. Spooky and scary, especially Marion. Cam was mostly just trying to help, while Marion tried to actively murder/get rid of everyone. And that house. OMG, it was so well written at times I could see myself there. I don’t get how anyone would be in that house. NOPE.
The romance between Jade and Flo was just the cutest and I loved their banter and seeing them get closer and closer with each page. It definitely made the book a bit lighter and I could use that at times. Just some cute stuff in between all the scary dreams, sleep paralysis, and food you should not eat.
I loved reading about Vietnam, about the language, the culture, the food, and more. But it was also great to read about the darker side of it. The racism, the colonialism, the bad things that happened. About how our MC at times feels like she doesn’t belong for not knowing the language. I really wanted to punch that lady that kept coming by, really, as a white person I was just so embarrassed she would act this way. Girl. No.
Sometimes things just got a bit too much gore for me. I mean, I can handle some things, but dead bugs? Maggots? Bug legs? A hand being sliced and blood everywhere? Rotten food descriptions. I sometimes had to skip small parts because it just got too be too much.
And yes, I found our MC at times quite dumb. I mean, I get it you want to let your dad know that the haunting is real, but maybe not fake something? I just was shaking my head and wondering why she thought that was such a good plan.
The ending was definitely unexpected. I had several ideas of what I would like to see as an ending, but I definitely didn’t expect THAT.
All in all, I could talk even more about this book, but let’s keep it at this. This was a haunting atmospheric read with great romance, spooky ghosts, culture, and more! It had a slow start, but after that I just couldn’t stop reading.