I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.We Can Never Leave This Place by Eric LaRocca
Published by Trepidatio Publishing on June 24, 2022
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Literary, Occult & Supernatural
Format: ARC, eBook
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"When you're given a gift, something else gets taken away."
A precocious young girl with an unusual imagination is sent on an odyssey into the depths of depravity. After her father dies violently, young Mara is surprised to find her mother welcoming a new guest into their home, claiming that he will protect them from the world of devastation and destruction outside their door.
A grotesque and thrilling dark fantasy, We Can Never Leave This Place is a harrowing portrait of inherited grief and familial trauma.
"We Can Never Leave This Place is the apocalyptic 21st century Grimm's fairy tale you need in your life. Eric LaRocca plucks images directly from the muck and mire of our id and fashions them into something grotesquely beautiful." Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World and The Pallbearers Club
"We Can Never Leave This Place is a bleak and tender, monstrous and visceral fable of family and loss, and the courage it takes to confront them both." Kathe Koja, author of The Cipher
We Can Never Leave This Place, I think probably I can’t. I’m trapped in a state of purgatory. How do you sum up a story that depicts such vivid imagery of neglect and trauma? I’m not going to lie; this book seems to be impossible to review with enough fervour to do it justice. It’s the kind of story that leaves you staring into space afterward. The musings playing around your consciousness like a never-ending loop.
Eric LaRocca is the king of trauma horror. Reading a story penned by this glorious author is always an experience. He leads you down a path that humanity doesn’t willingly tread. It’s the dark side of the human condition, the wants, and desires that we only allow ourselves to know and most importantly he gives a voice to the voiceless. LaRocca is truly one of the most unique and influential authors in horror. He has an incredible talent for writing characters that are not impacted by the stereotypes of gender. The experiences can be associated with male, and female and it is delightful to find an author that writes for everyone.
We Can Never Leave This Place is a society gutted by destruction. The streets are patrolled with something akin to soldiers. The backdrop of gunfire and explosions can be heard all around. Mara, a sixteen-year-old girl answers the door two of these men returning her father’s body. He has been murdered and this is where life takes on a darker descent into oblivion. She was close to her father and grief threatens to forever change her. It also means that life with her mother and her abusive ways has no ending in sight. It’s oppressive – she is at the mercy of her venomous tongue and the constant ramblings that she is to blame for her father’s death.
Reality is a human-made construct, and her father’s death is the catalyst for monsters knocking at their door and interjecting into her mother’s life. She becomes enamoured with them and basically can’t see the wood from the trees.
LaRocca has perfectly examined how trauma can leave a permanent scar on bodies or places. The physical wound may have healed but they leave a bump in the road or the jagged healing of skin that only is skin deep. The actual wound is still there underneath the thinnest layer of skin, it wouldn’t take much to break free. That’s trauma, you can put a mask on but in difficult circumstances, it will slip, and you are back to the start.
We Can Never Leave This Place is a stunning masterclass in trauma horror. LaRocca remains white-hot in delivering another hold your breath novel. He truly understands the darkest recesses of the mind.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eric LaRocca (he/they) is the author of several works of horror and dark fiction including the viral sensation Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke.