- File Size: 2005 KB
- Print Length: 192 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1516106857
- Publisher: Lyrical Press (August 28, 2018)
- Publication Date: August 28, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B077WZKJ2R
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,851 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||$15.00|
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BEHIND THE DOOR (A Kathy Ryan Novel), by Mary SanGiovanni, is a supernatural horror novel that really makes the readers think, and begs the question: If you could have anything you want--without knowing the possible repercussions--would you take that chance? In the rural town of Zarephath, PA, there is a "freestanding Door" in the woods that the residents both fear and revere.
"Some doors should never be opened . . . "
When new people move to Zarephath, they are inevitably told--in whispered reverence--about the town's mysterious Door. Rumors say that you can ask for something from it--but there are as many "bad" results as there may be desirable ones.
"Rule number one is that you absolutely, under no circumstances ever, open that Door . . . "
Kari, a newly divorced woman who tragically lost her only child, has recently moved here to try and get away from her haunting memories.
"You don't always get it how you want it . . . "
She is one of the many remarkable characters that the author does an incredible job of bringing to life in this book. The emotional intensity, pain, faults, strengths, fears, and desires are so real that they make you feel as though you were in this town, WITH these individuals. They became more than a name and a problem they had--they became . . . human. Even those with monstrous secrets were three dimensional.
". . . It was human nature that in times of fear or sorrow, people leaned toward wanting to believe in something over nothing . . . even faceless, nameless gods behind a freestanding door in the woods . . . "
I could practically feel the opposing pull of emotions in many of the townspeople. Creating individuals that your readers will be thinking about long after the book is finished is a challenging feat, but Mary SanGiovanni pulls it off so smoothly that she makes it seem nearly effortless.
". . . When you ask for things that defy the laws of God and nature, it never, never works out . . . I said you can ask for anything and you can . . . but we learned quick 'round here that you don't . . . "
This is the second standalone book I've read with Kathy Ryan as a character, and while her background and occult "training" are still very much in the shadows, I found that she fit perfectly into this novel--her arrival more of a gentle "ripple" than a "wave". In BEHIND THE DOOR, her persona seemed very certain, and developed when she is called in to help the townspeople with the sudden problem with: ". . . them behind the Door." Even without knowing her personal history, I didn't feel that anything crucial was left out here. Rather, I felt that we were given the perfect amount of information to go on, without overshadowing the theme of the novel with excess content.
". . . Maybe sometimes it was just as bad to get what you asked the Door for as it was not to . . . "
I think this is one of those rare novels that will stay with me for quite a while. I was certainly drawn to the well developed, complex characters, and the tense, frightening atmosphere brought about by the sudden, inexplicable changes besieging the town. However, the question of the very nature of "what" the town was up against, and the moral implications of what they had been doing--in secret--for centuries, are thoughts that I still find myself contemplating.
". . . Behind some doors are rooms hidden for good cause in places human beings were probably never meant to know about--rooms meant never to be entered-- . . . "
". . . It ain't natural to keep Karma from coming around and making things right . . . "
As for Kathy Ryan, she is an enigma all on her own. I am very pleased to hear that Mary SanGiovanni will be planning other novels that will incorporate this most fascinating character, as I can see that there is much potential to be explored here.
". . . as a species, humans were survivors . . . "
Overall, I felt this novel had an incredible blend of all of the elements I look for in a horror story. Added to this, we have a mystery that remains shadowed just enough so that our minds can have free reign over what we "think" or "imagine" it could be behind all of the turmoil. Part of the ingenuity here, I believe, is that we are NOT spoon-fed all the answers, but rather invited to participate in the speculation with the townspeople.
"There were some things worth surviving rather than changing . . . "
Enter Kari, a grieving mother who wishes to erase the pain caused by her daughter’s suicide. But after sliding her painstakingly-worded letter beneath the door, she realizes she is forgetting her daughter ever existed. She will do anything to get her letter back, and therefore commits the ultimate sin and opens The Door.
Soon the town’s residents, painted skillfully in Ms. SanGiovanni’s capable hands into a colorful mix of personalities and their sins, start to find their wishes rebounding on them.
Zarephath’s municipal elders, including an ex-cop with his own terrible secret, pull everyone together and make a plan: bring in an expert in the inexplicable — enter Kathy Ryan, occult investigator.
Kathy, like the residents of Zarephath, is rendered with depth and emotional clarity, and like the residents of Zarephath, is deeply flawed but still curiously lovable. Together, Kathy, her friend the ex-policeman, and a hodge-podge of unique characters (including a child molester) must confront their darkest deeds as well as a horde of monstrous beings from another dimension.
Behind the Door moves with thriller-novel pacing and literary character-building from the horrors of private sins to the horrors that stalk the sinners. She successfully addresses serious issues like domestic violence, addiction, and child abuse with honesty and compassion.
Ms. SanGiovanni takes some real risks here, and these risks pay off in spades in this extraordinary work of Cosmic Horror from an extraordinary storyteller.
Top international reviews
It won’t surprise to to know that many people would. No matter the consequences. And there are always consequences.
Read Mary San Giovanni’s book, Behind the Door.
I highly recommend this book.