Book style: psychological fiction
Beer style: Cane & Ebel Red Rye (for that family feel)
This book was a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. At first, I felt like I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get into it. I didn’t know where it was going, which I think was the authors intent. Sometimes I didn’t know if anything would happen, or if it was just a story about a group of people living in a commune and that was it, the book turned out to be a lot more than just people living in a commune. The book was a dark, psychological piece that kept you guessing until the very end, and beyond, really.
The main story revolves around a handful of folks living in a commune, called Foxlowe. It’s a huge, wide mansion, that has been slowly deteriorating. From the descriptions the author gives, you get the sense that the mansion was most likely abandoned, as there are room full of old junk, old mattresses, and dust everywhere. Some of the main characters are Freya, the head of the house hold and one of the founders of Foxlowe, Richard and Libby, two other founders, under Freya, Green, the protagonist and first born into Foxlowe, Toby, a friend who’s mother brought him here to escape all the bad of the outside world, and Blue, a baby who was brought in from the outside.
Even though the book was only around 240 pages long, a lot happens. For about the first half, the book writes with Green as a young child. She’s young and naïve, but for the most part, loves her life in Foxlowe, as it is all she has ever known.
Soon, their world is changed. A little baby is brought into Foxlowe, and Green is tasked to name her. She names her Blue, but not as a color, but as deep sadness. She is instantly jealous of Blue and never really gets over it. Years pass as they grow up together, but she never bonds with her despite being a main caregiver for her.
In the beginning, the author reveals right away that at some point, Foxlowe ends, but not how or when. Towards the end of the book, you start to go back and forth between times. You fast forward about 10 years, where Green is now in her 20s, flashing between a troubled life, and a recovering life with some of her former Foxlowe fellows, then you flash back to the time of Green’s childhood. Back to Foxlowe.
Between these flashes, you edge closer and to the climax. I found myself staying up way later at night than I planned to, hoping to get to the crux of the story.
Overall, I thought the book did very well at being creepy, and darkly psychological. Some of the writing format and style threw me off at times. She uses hashes (-) instead of quotes, which could get a little confusing, and she flashes back and forth in time without much of an indicator, so you have to do some inferring. But beyond that, the book was well written and very creepy. The ending in particular, was very disturbing and had that inconclusive feeling at the end. It leaves you hanging, which, for some people, can be extremely frustrating, but for others, just adds to the intensity. It also has you thinking about what the definition of family really means, and how influential they can be. It’s up to you how you want to dissect it.
Overall rating: 8/10