Wednesday , April 17 2024
A beautiful but deadly place.

Book Review: Drowned Sorrow by Vanessa Morgan

A home and family are tragically destroyed by the unintentional suicide of a son. In a cry for help and an attempt to get attention, he slits his wrists, believing he would be found and rescued. His mother, Megan, feels her shame to the bone; her work had always come first. With the death of her son, her marriage also crumbles. Everything is disintegrating around her. Leaving her work to spend some quality time with her daughter and to pick up the pieces, she makes a decision to get away, and a friend recommends the small town of Moonlight Creek, a beautiful lakeside town as a place to go for healing and to strengthen their relationship.

Moonlight Springs is everything she had heard, beautiful and remote, small and restful. But was it really? There is something lurking in the shadows. Megan is a bit spooked in the beginning, but is really enjoying the time spent with her daughter. She has met a few nice people in the area, and her daughter Jenna has also met a dreamy boy — someone she can relate to and spend time with. As they leave their cabin heading for the local grocer to stock up on food, Megan finds there is even more about this town that makes no sense. The grocery store that she stops in has only shelves and shelves of water available. Every kind of water you could imagine, but only water. As they stop at the local bar for a bite to eat, they find Giselle, the owner to be very friendly. They learn that Jenna’s new friend Mark is Giselle’s son. The bar is empty but, the floor is wet and full of puddles. Giselle only smiles and apologizes, she has just finished cleaning.

As Megan and Jenna head back to their cabin they discuss the oddities of the quirky little town and laugh about the absurdities. Although Megan finds it all a bit eerie, It seems as though everywhere she goes she feels as though they are being watched. When to do run into any locals, while friendly, they are not exactly outgoing, and they too seem to stare a bit too long. Brushing this off as just the effects of small town life Megan is determined to build a strong relationship with Jenna.

Megan is one of the women of the world who should not be a mother. Her entire life, until the death of her son, was wrapped up in her work. It is what makes her come alive, and she is only really happy when she has a new project. She loves her family, but her work makes her life complete. In a last minute effort to make things right she has quit her job and is determined to become the kind of mother that her daughter Jenna can relate to. She wonders if it is too late to repair the damage to her marriage as well, but for now that is on the back burner. She knows the feelings are still there, but the distrust and disillusionment is also in the way. Jenna is her main concern and she is willing to do what it takes to rebuild a relationship that she never really had. If that means going to a small town for some alone time with her, then she is more then willing.

Jenna is a sweet girl. She is still hoping that her parents will get back together. While she really loves her mom she is also a bit angry at her. On the day of her brother’s death she had called her mother several times with concerns about him, but her mother would not take her calls. She was too busy with her work. Jenna, too, needs to find some time to rebuild a trust that needs to be inherent in a parent child relationship.

In Drowned Sorrow, Vanessa Morgan has crafted an extremely creepy story. The town of Moonlight Springs, while a beautiful and restful place on the surface, has dark and dangerous currents known only to the inhabitants. It is a kind of a cult, but not like anything you have ever imagined. This is the kind of story you often find in a Koontz or King novel. I began reading it and was alternately annoyed at how Megan was portrayed and really not liking her persona. I could already feel that the story would be one that would not be comfortable to read. I put it off for a bit, and then one night took the plunge. What I would have to really reiterate to you is, do not read this book at night. I was appalled at the extreme horror of the story, and while there was a bit of that is just weird, it still was able to pull me in with the intricate and well thought out creepiness. The ending was so uncomfortable I could not sleep for the rest of the night.

If you love a horror novel this would be one for you. I am not really a horror fan, and it is a book like this that reminds me of why that is. Vanessa Morgan may have found her genre, and how someone could have this kind of nightmare roiling around in their imagination just never ceases to amaze me. And while I am not a horror fan, I do know when a book is gripping, and this is that at its absolute. Reading the nightmare as it unfolded, and even understanding that I would not like the outcome, I could not put it down. Once I was in, I was hooked.

I would recommend this book for those that love the horror genre. I do not think it would be a book for teens, so even if your teen loves horror, you may want to read it for yourself first. I will be passing this book on to my sister who really loves this kind of thing, and she will be the one to read it over and over. This will make it into her library of macabre books. So if you have the fortitude for horror, here it the book that will bring it home, my recommendation though, lock the doors, have some friends over, just for company, but do not read this after dark.

About Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is an author and blogger in the Northwest.

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