"I enjoyed this book a lot. It's a different kind of horror but it's a good break from every other kind of horror. 10/10 Would read again." - Reader
"Brilliant writing from a new author. I could not put this book down." -Glenn Clark
From the Inside Flap
This gave Grace an excessive love for Sebastian. She would be very protective of him, while pushing herself to be distant enough to make sure he didn't rebel. This back and forth between coddling and callousness made Sebastian confused as a child. She would praise his creativity, only to demonize it soon after. As a teenager, this made Sebastian loathe his mother. He pushed back his creative side and forced himself to pursue knowledge.
Grace was stricken by an array of illnesses throughout Sebastian's life. At first, he felt sorry for his mother. The year he turned seventeen, though, he noticed she was turning into a hypochondriac. Unbeknownst to him, this was his mother's desperate attempt to regain his affection through pity. It pushed Sebastian away even more in his mind. He had just been accepted to the University of Reno as an undergraduate student. He wouldn't speak to Grace for nearly two decades.
With Sebastian gone, Grace turned to the doctors for attention. When they finally understood what was going on, they referred her to a therapist for her real illness; hypochondria, four years after Sebastian graduated and earned his Ph.D.
A few years of working with her therapist later, Grace accepted that she needed to mend her relationship with her son. This decision coincided with the death of Sebastian's father, in November of 2014. At the funeral in December that year, Sebastian finally spoke to his estranged mother. Her admission of guilt was seen as another attempt at gaining sympathy, but he gave her the benefit of the doubt, and started speaking with her over the phone on a regular basis. On one of these phone calls, Grace asked Sebastian to help her move to Elton. Sebastian agreed, and enlisted the help of Rick and his truck.
Sebastian's nightmares began soon after returning home to Reno. When he told his mother about them, she insisted he go to a doctor. He felt this was the result of her obsession with doctors.
Sebastian stopped for gas halfway to Elton. When he finished filling the tank, he climbed back into his car and continued driving. He remembered the argument he'd had with his mother the year before.
"No, mom. They're just dreams," Sebastian groaned. He had been talking on the phone with Grace for two hours, and was becoming worried Dr. Teller would get annoyed with these frequent, long phone calls.
"You teach philosophy, right? I mean, you have to know that they mean something?" Grace had asked.
"Yes. I do teach philosophy. Part of the job is knowing which things are true, and which are nonsense. Dream analysis is nonsense," Sebastian said.
"According to whom?"
"Every single person who has conducted and published studies on the matter."
"What makes them so smart?" Grace asked. She felt that Sebastian was, as she put it, 'a-know-it-all.'
"Oh, I don't know, mom. They kind of literally wrote the books that got me my degree," Sebastian responded facetiously.
"You didn't answer my question. So what if they 'wrote the book'?" Grace said, copying Sebastian's tone. "Hitler wrote a book, too. He wasn't very smart," she continued.
"I don't think you have the time for me to explain why what you just said makes no sense whatsoever," Sebastian asserted firmly. He sat down in the chair behind his desk, wide-eyed and frustrated.
"All I have is time, Sebastian, I'm a retired old woman," Grace said, trying to lighten up the conversation.
Sebastian, however, took her words as a challenge. Grace was speaking to Sebastian as a mother. Sebastian was speaking to Grace as the recipient of a PhD more than as her son. Sebastian didn't know of any other way to speak to her. His own mother was practically a stranger to him, a stranger that he did not want back in his life.