Posted 20 hours ago

Mary: An Awakening of Terror

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This book has been on my TBR for months—c’mon, once you see this cover, it’s impossible to not be intrigued, right? This book also dives into social topics that aren’t really discussed to much—perimenopause and the treatment of women once they reach a certain age. Turning internalized patriarchy/misogyny into a literal possession was a brilliant, well-executed spine for the story. Without giving spoilers, this novel has some elements that would be challenging to pull off for many narrators, and Susan Bennett reads it beautifully.

It was a wild ride from start to finish, with some of the most vivid characters I’d read in a long time. I relate to or at least respect everything Cassidy brought to the table about how hard and unfair it is to be a woman and an aging woman at that. I think there was some interesting parts of it (the linkage between Greek mythology and all of that) but it gets buried in this book. Along with the hot flashes and body aches, she can't look in a mirror without passing out, and the voices in her head have been urging her to do unspeakable things. It's menopause, now stop talking crazy and move along, I have another patient to see type of attitude.

The home being the site of an infamous serial killer that was gunned down by the police 49 years ago. It doesn't matter if you're into Stephen King, Octavia Butler, Jack Ketchum or Shirley Jackson, this is the place to share that love and discuss to your heart's content.

This scene of her skipping naked down the hallway and singing full of life that same song only now it has a WHOLE new and beautiful meaning.Like many fans of horror (and really all kinds of genres), I am someone who has topics and themes that really work for her, and other topics and themes that really don’t. Originally inspired by Steven King’s Carrie, the author began writing this horror novel when he was just thirteen years old. Honestly though look at the world what's the difference because this stuff and worse happens every day to literal children.

Not because its about a woman going through peri-menopause, but because of its insight in to the female condition. The main character is probably the most bland, unlikeable character I’ve ever encountered, and the absolute clusterfuck of a plot redeems nothing. Genuinely scary, and at times both heartfelt and heartbreaking, Mary is a powerhouse of a horror novel, with something important to say. This was gory and horrifying and had some images/scenes that will surely stick with me for a very long time.The final 10% of this book were pretty good, the other 90% was like a party that's not great but not quite bad enough to make me want to leave. Mary starts to see entities around her—mutilated and graphic, these entities are trying to speak to her.

And the comparison to Midsommer was a big reason that I requested it, only to have about…zero parallels to the movie. It’s very interesting to imagine the story taking that form—it feels so perfectly suited to being a novel. I did like that Mary who is going through peri-menopausal incidents right now is dealing with trying to tamper he rage down. The rich desert setting with an odd community of inhabitants reminded me of Sundial by Catriona Ward. It is very commendable that Cassidy highlights this bias to show that what’s going on here is that Mary, as an aging woman who wants nothing more than to be noticed, to be taken seriously, is not being given any worth.The cover and the description really sucked me in, and will likely do the same to other women of a certain age (yes that is me! My reading experience: At one point in the story, Mary says something to her Aunt Nadine's dog, Chipotle (they say it like chip-oh-dull, haha), and the actress, Jennifer Coolidge got in my mind and stayed for the duration of this book, which was genius. You can watch him battle giant mutant cockroaches and twentysomething malaise in the horror-comedy film "They Will Outlive Us All," available for streaming on this very site. I am a perimenopausal middle aged woman after all so I felt Mary was like a kindred spirit of sorts. Mary feels 'unhinged' from start to finish, which is meant as a compliment because I appreciate when a story is intentionally straying away from common tropes and formulaic arcs.

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