Thank you NetGalley and Delacorte Press for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
Synopsis: Ever since Margot was born, it's been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot's questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.
But that's not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it's not what she bargained for.
Margot's mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what's still there?
The only thing Margot knows for sure is there's poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she's there, she might never escape. (Amazon)
A book lover often has a difficult time reading the books that they're interested in. Just when the opportunity arrives to finally dive into that story you've been wanting to read for months, about five other books release and you once again fall behind. That's why, despite the popularity of Wilder Girls last year, I never had the chance to enjoy it. Seeing a new and upcoming release from Rory Power seemed like the perfect opportunity to become acquainted with her imagination.
The writing itself is very good. There are no hiccups, no floundering about, and it flows smoothly. Rory Power gets to the point that she wants to make without beating around the bush. I really wanted to enjoy this story, however, and sometimes we want something so strongly that it slips away.
While the writing is straightforward, the pace was not. The novel took so long getting to the meat of the plot that I got slightly bored along the way. I didn't really connect with any characters except our lead, something that is at times the case often when a book is written in first-person. I felt for Margot and her plight. That's one thing that can be said for this book: you feel the desperation, frustration, and need coming off this young woman to have the love and family that she has wanted her whole life. It screams out through the pages.
Was the true horror and mystery of it all worth it when it finally arrived, however? Yes, it absolutely was. There is something sickening, twisted and disturbing about the history behind the horror of Margot's family. And for that, this book is well worth the read. That something so seemingly small would make me feel as uncomfortable as it did, speaks well for the way that the author unfolds it into the rest of the writing. But it arrived quite late, and developed far too fast for me to properly enjoy.
Burn Our Bodies Down has a Stephen King-esque vibe that hit me more than once, and I've noticed that other readers have felt the same. It's this nagging little thing at the back of your head that you notice here and there and can't let go of. I appreciated it, even if the whole of it fell a little more off the mark than I'd hoped. There's merit to this novel, I just wish that more of those daunting details which pop up near the end and made me uneasy—while making everything charged and fraught with terrible possibility—had been delivered a little more starkly from the start.