Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.
It’s just that he’s away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.
But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband’s face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can’t quite meet her gaze…
But everything is perfect. Isn’t it?
My quick take
I enjoyed it for the odd novella that it was but, like many, wondered if it delivered on its promise.
It was creepy and atmospheric in some ways; a sense of building panic, of something wrong just off page. Not sure I would call it horror or even a thriller (the book cover says “terrifying new thriller”). And the language and prose is wonderful in that unique Valente style. But the mystical feminist or anti-men ending with its Biblical language and imagery was both weird and a little unclear.
I read it in one sitting. Can’t imagine buying a copy unless I was a big time Valente fan, but I did find it an interesting diversion on a cold Monday night.
For me the quickness of the read, and the fact that I checked it out from the library made it a low risk. Others have reacted differently. Check out Goodreads to get a flavor.
For other reviews see below.