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.Awake in the Night by Shauna McEleney
Published by Self Published on 25 November 2022
Genres: Horror, LGBTQ+
Format: ARC, eBook
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Jessica and Nicole think they’ve finally found their dream house - by the sea, in the West of Ireland. 17 Montpellier Street has history, character… and so many rooms you could easily lose your way, if you don’t tread carefully.
It has memories, too - so many memories. The new owners haven’t learned them yet. But the girls who lived there decades before, when the church used Montpellier Street to hide away its secrets - they’ve never forgotten.
The ones who survived, anyway.
Montpellier Street remembers every one of the horrors those girls suffered at the hands of the priests, nuns and doctors who should have been their carers. And Jess and Nicole… they’re about to start reliving them, night after night.
Sleep may never come easily again.
Our lives are made up of threads and stories. It’s what makes us unashamedly us. We must roll with the dice, there are going to be good times and bad. We’ll meet people who enrich us and people that will leave us with a bad taste in our mouths. We all experience these moments, and it is with that that we leave ties, invisible bonds that make us who we are.
Awake in the Night was told in the dual POV of Nicole and Grace, the past and the present colliding with the impact of a supernova. Nicole and her partner, Jess, moved into a beautiful home on Montpellier Street in County Galway. It’s everything they’ve dreamed of and worked for, and they are looking forward to making new memories. Nicole is a woman, a wife, a sister, and a daughter. She has stories of her own she just needs to have the space to feel them and release them. Grace is a young woman, and her story is told in during the year 1955. She also experiences life in 17 Montpellier Street, but from a very different side of the coin. I didn’t know where this narrative would lead me – we witnessed depravity, cruelty and the treatment of mental health conditions as of that time was horrendously outdated. I was livid with the treatment of those girls. Meeting their next-door neighbour, Susan is when the story really gets its wings and flies.
How do the two timelines meet? How do the two intermingle and meet in the present? Will 17 Montpellier reveal its secrets to Nicole and Jess?
Nicole experiences visitations from a few spirits. It quite rightly scares the living crap out of her. I thought for a ghost story it was starting out quite tame, boy was I wrong? These scenes played out in my head like a nightmarish loop. My assessment was a mistake! Shauna McEleney really had me fooled! This slow-paced novel suddenly felt like I’d been pushed into a dark pool, the water ready to swallow me whole. Every kick I made was fruitless, the current was determined to take me.
The pieces of the puzzle came together, and I believe my brain left my body. It made me question my doubts and my suspicions. So many layers came together in one beautiful moment that I was genuinely taken aback by the magic of McEleney’s narrative.
McEleney spins a tale of revenge, pain, and grief and does it so eloquently. As we all know revenge takes its own path, its own destination. Evil stains life into a twisted thread of despair. And Awake in the Night highlights that with crystal clear authority.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shauna Mc Eleney is an Irish author from county Donegal, currently living in the UK.
She went to university in Northern Ireland where she studied English & Media. She spent some time travelling in South East Asia and Australia. Shauna returned to Ireland and moved to Galway where she did a Masters in Film & Culture. She called Galway her home on and off for 14 years.
She began writing horror in 2021.
Awake in the Night is her first Novel.