Title: The Home
Author: Mats Strandberg
Genres: Horror | Thriller
Length: 3645 Kindle locations
Publisher: Quercus Books – Jo Fletcher Books
Publishing Date: May 14th, 2020
Joel’s mother had a heart attack a while back and since then she has not been the same. Now her dementia makes it impossible for her to keep living on her own and he has to commit her to Pineshade, while dealing with his guilt, addiction and confrontation with former best friend.
If that wasn’t enough, his mother does not seem like herself. Everyone tells him that is normal in patients with dementia, but is that really the only reason?
It’s been a while since I read a horror novel, I missed it. And this one did not disappoint.
First of all, it was very refreshing to read a novel taking place in Sweden. I actually didn’t know that beforehand and it was a pleasant surprise.
Our main character Joel is a flawed 38-year-old man who has many regrets. Being back home, seeing his mother in that state, and having to commit her while his brother completely brushes off any responsibility is bad enough, but realizing his former best friend Nina is working in the place where he had to place his mother brings things to a whole new level of “I don’t want to deal with this shit” and you can somehow relate to his struggles to do the right thing but knowing he is ultimately too weak to do it.
I really appreciated how things like homosexuality were dropped in the narrative as only one other detail, not making a big deal out of it. I enjoyed how the author spooled a story of regrets, of “what if’s”, of forcing the characters to confront themselves, their part in what happened the past, and if they could really get beyond it. All this while a parallel supernatural story was also being weaved.
Subtlety is definitely one of my favourite things about this novel. The story took time to develop but I was always interested. And small hints were left here and there making the reader slowly more and more certain that something suspicious is definitely going on.
There were times when I wished the characters would catch up already and I think that last chapter stretched on for longer than necessary but, overall, I really enjoyed this book, I think it was well achieved and definitely recommend it!
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from Apr 16th to Apr 18th, 2020