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.Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on July 21, 2022
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, General, Thrillers, Supernatural
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Just Like Home is a darkly gothic thriller from nationally bestselling author Sarah Gailey, perfect for fans of Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House as well as HBO's true crime masterpiece I'll Be Gone in the Dark.
“Come home.” Vera’s mother called and Vera obeyed. In spite of their long estrangement, in spite of the memories — she's come back to the home of a serial killer. Back to face the love she had for her father and the bodies he buried there, beneath the house he'd built for his family.
Coming home is hard enough for Vera, and to make things worse, she and her mother aren’t alone. A parasitic artist has moved into the guest house out back and is slowly stripping Vera’s childhood for spare parts. He insists that he isn’t the one leaving notes around the house in her father’s handwriting... but who else could it possibly be?
There are secrets yet undiscovered in the foundations of the notorious Crowder House. Vera must face them and find out for herself just how deep the rot goes.
Just Like Home bleeds from the core. It’s a meteorite crashing into your orbit and turning your world upside down. Viscerally intimate.
Just Like Home…Jesus Christ on a burning bike! A story that defied the rules of reality, but do you think it cares? Nope, the rule book was torn up and buried. A story with an original plot, strong characters, and a writing style that could cut glass.
Just Like Home is the living embodiment of a house being the keeper of secrets. It sees all, breathes all, and doesn’t say anything. It soaks up the blood and pumps it into the walls, it doesn’t make a mess anymore but it’s there as a constant reminder of the pain and suffering. A house isn’t just four walls, a house is a home, one that has the ability to keep safe or torment, it’s all a matter of perspective. A bleak tale that has you questioning the darker side of the human condition. Get that life jacket because you going to be treading some very muddy waters!
Vera has returned home, home to her ailing mother, home to the only place she’s felt both safe and destroyed, the place she saw her father for the very last time. Memories of her serial killer father fight against the portrayal of a very good father. It’s strange – when we think of Serial Killers, we don’t categorise them as having positive traits. Vera had a very good relationship with her dad, he took her fishing, he made sure she knew the way of the world, and he also made a point that the only way you learn is to watch…well, Vera would take that advice way too seriously.
Vera’s mother, Daphne, Is a wicked woman. The only way I can describe her is like a shark circling, it’s got the slight taste of blood and it’s ready to zone in for the kill. I feel slightly guilty however, I feel it’s a bit unfair on the shark.
The story is told in two timelines which are slotted in perfectly with the solidity of the story. Vera recounts her childhood with the clarity that only age can make clear. We also see the anguish of coming back to her mother, the house, and the new tenant, James Duvall. A creepy little man who thinks he is communing with the house to create art, all he needs is to spend a little time with Vera.
No denying that the family dynamic was toxic as hell – but so many families are. We can see how actions can turn child and parent against one another, jealousy of how different things are for their child, especially a mother and daughter. It’s not right but Just Like Home makes you question, question, question.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Gailey is a Hugo Award Winning and Bestselling author of speculative fiction, short stories, and essays. Their nonfiction has been published by dozens of venues internationally. Their fiction has been published in over six different languages. Their most recent novel, The Echo Wife, and first original comic book series with BOOM! Studios, Eat the Rich, are available now. You can find links to their work at sarahgailey.com and on social media at @gaileyfrey.