by Elizabeth Kilcoyne
Publication: July 12, 2022
**I received a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**
Laurel returns home after withdrawing from school. She resumes her work as a taxidermist and also helps to harvest tobacco, but strange occurrences upon her return fuel her belief that her mother may not have been as crazy as the town thought. The future of those she loves depends on her figuring out who or what might be searching for her.
Wake the Bones is a creepy Southern gothic novel that held a lot of promise. I was immediately captivated by the writing. It is atmospheric with descriptions so vivid the summer heat penetrated my screen while the hopelessness of living in the town overcame me. I cannot read ghost stories or horror novels. Anything remotely creepy often gets put away, but the writing pushed me to continue even when I wanted to stop.
While I loved the writing, it was difficult for me to connect with the characters. The book is told from multiple points of view with Laurel serving as the main character. She’s not particularly likeable and difficult to sympathize with. Of all the characters, Garrett was easily the most likeable. Even though I disliked how he (and everyone else) treated Christine, a character who deserved more chapters than she was given. While there are two romances, only one had chemistry. It was not clear to me why Laurel liked who she liked; he just seemed like the only choice available to her.
I had so many different feelings about the book. I kept wondering what happened to the other people living in the town. Laurel’s Uncle Jay often appeared and disappeared whenever necessary. Some things seemed disjointed at times. It was atmospheric and the writing was wonderful even if the story itself was not a great fit for me. If you’re a fan of Southern gothic horror and beautiful writing, Wake the Bones would be a good choice.