Description from Author:
When Alan Hammerstun inherits a quaint ranch house in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, he and his wife Heather seize the opportunity to leave New York and the haunting aftermath of two miscarriages. Eager to start over in the rural North Carolina town, they hope this new beginning will be the antidote to Heather’s severe depression. For a time everything seems perfect. Too perfect, in fact. The neighbors are all young, handsome, healthy, and friendly. While surveying his new property, Alan finds a dirt path through the forest designated by stone markers carved with strange symbols, which culminates in a grassy clearing. One night Alan dreams the path ends at the foot of a lake and dives in; when he awakes gritty with lake grime and improved health and strength, he wonders if it could cure Heather’s depression and infertility as well. When the townspeople warn Alan of the lake’s powers, he must decide if the community’s secret is a nightmare or a miracle.
I was excited to receive this book for review. It was a little extra added book from the publisher that came along with “Floating Staircase.” by the same author, Ronald Malfi. I really enjoy Malfi’s writing style. This book, however, left me in the middle on my feelings towards the plot like. I have broken my positive/negative aspects into categories below.
Mr. Malfi’s writing style is poetic and superb. He has a beautiful way of creating a scene around the reader sot that they see, smell and feel the surroundings.
When Alan and his wife Heather first arrive at their new home willed to them by Alan’s deceased uncle, the description of the dilapidated building really struck me:, “.. The front windows looked blind with cataracts and the yard was horribly overgrown.”
Another example, “..He awoke covered in sweat, the memory of the past year clinging to him like a web. ”
Another example, “… It was warm enough for fireflies, and this night they were out in multitude, filling the night sky with their peculiar brand of visual Morse code.”
Mr. Malfi’s writing style is alluring and enchanting. This is the prime reason, married with the fact I absolutely LOVED “Floating Staircase”, that I finished this book.
I also loved the Native American thread that held the book together. The importance of good/evil and the fine balance between the two.
ATAGA’HI – Belief by the Cherokee people, my people and my ancestry, gave me a bit of pride in reading this book.
Now, the parts I hate doing. I always feel like a thief receiving a book for free, for review, and finding negative areas of the book.
A. There are SO many subplots, it was hard to keep focus. I felt that the author rushed to reach certain “goals” by releasing information too soon, like the effects of the lake and the town’s people.
Plot lines: Vines, Lake, Town’s Folk, Owen and his Wife, Heather and her issues, Alan and his issues, and the Cherokee tales.
The other negative to me, is that this book was very reminiscent of
> “Pet Cemetery” by Stephen King (kid comes back with no soul) marries,
>“Tommyknockers” by Stephen King (weirdness in the woods, old Native legends) ,
> Together they breed “It’s Alive” (couple’s infant child turns out to be a vicious mutant monster) by Larry Coheni.
The writing is beautiful and enticing. Mr. Malfi is beyond creative with his ideas and putting them in word format. I would definitely read MORE of his work. This book is great for a quick read on vacation, weekend during a thunderstorm, etc.