Book Recommendations · reading · Reading & Writing

Finished Reading: The Night Strangers

Earlier this week, I finished reading The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian.  If you could see my face right now, I would be staring at you with wide eyes and an open mouth.  I’d also be pushing this book into your hands and shouting, “Read this!  I must talk to you about this!”  Luckily, my best reader friend is the person that suggested it to me, so I was able to gush and squeal to her about it.  From my LibraryThing book review:

“Warning: DO NOT pick up this book to read on an airplane. It prominently features and revisits a tragic plane crash in incredible detail.

This was one of those books that I couldn’t put down. It centers around a family in the midst of tragedy that buys an old Victorian House in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. They are desperate for a fresh start, so it’s not until they move in that they notice the strange door in the basement that’s has been securely covered using 39 carriage bolts. The father, with PTSD and some features of depression and psychosis, is staying at home to fix up the house and becomes obsessed with knowing what’s on the other side of this door.

The town of Bethel seems a bit unusual as well. There’s a large group of women that all have names that are flowers or herbs (Sage and Clary, for example) and they all own beautiful greenhouses teeming with exotic and domestic plants. Some say they are witches. The women take special interest in the children of this new family – twin girls – and take them under their wings to teach them their knowledge about the plants that they so carefully cultivate.

This novel’s plot is constantly moving forward and I found myself breathless in so many places. The description of the plane crash is so vivid, as are the thoughts and fears of the passengers and pilot aboard. As a new mother, my heart broke for some of the passengers and their stories, and I found myself tearful and hugging my babies a little closer.

This was my first Bohjalian, and if his other novels are anything like this one, it won’t be my last.”

I’ll confess: this is actually the first book that I’ve finished since early January.  As a person that identifies as a reader, that’s a hard thing to admit!  So when I’m able to find a novel that can push its way to the top of my to-do list, then I am thrilled!

When I started this blog, I was thinking that I wanted to work my way through some great works of literature.  I am beginning to understand that I am not in a place in my life that makes that possible.  I simply do not have the energy to ponder and work my way through difficult language, and that’s okay.  It won’t always be this way and I will make it to some of those novels that have been taunting me my entire life!  But right now, I really need reading to be fun and easy – which I am embracing!

 

14 thoughts on “Finished Reading: The Night Strangers

  1. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with fun and easy reading! This one sounds like a page-turner! And you’re totally right – eventually you will be able to delve into those great works! They’ll be there when you’re ready for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with fun and easy reading! This one sounds like a page-turner! And you’re totally right – eventually you will be able to delve into those great works! They’ll be there when you’re ready for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I spent years reading mostly fluff (mysteries), and it took me a while to allow myself to enjoy it… But it certainly IS perfectly ok! Sometimes that relaxing, fun break is what you need the most in reading. Actually I would say it was coming to terms with that that opened up so many new genres for me – I used to scoff at fantasy (“for children”, I would say) but now I can’t believe it was not always part of my life. I hope you find many more books to enjoy in the coming months 🙂

    Also – this one sounds awesome. Love the remote setting and the creepy town.. Great review!

    Like

    1. EXACTLY! I don’t know where that comes from – I wonder if it’s the perfectionist in me? I wouldn’t expect those standards from anyone else – yet I beat myself up about it! No more!

      And read The Night Strangers if you’re into that sort of book!! It was so good. I live in NH, so it was fun to see my little state highlighted, especially in such a witch-y way!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it also has a lot to do with social conditioning… In school we learn that ‘classics’ are literature, and most newer stuff is ‘pulp’ or ‘fluff’ (can you believe it, I never even read new releases or newer books before because I was so trained to think of them as somehow ‘lesser’ than vetted works). The moment I learned to stop feeling guilty for reading whatever I wanted, even if it wasn’t ‘high art’, is when my reading really took off.

        AND – that’s awesome – I love books that are set in my part of the world 🙂 (DC-MD-VA metro region). And also, mysterious ‘witch-y’ books – I will absolutely plan on The Night Strangers this summer 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I spent years reading mostly fluff (mysteries), and it took me a while to allow myself to enjoy it… But it certainly IS perfectly ok! Sometimes that relaxing, fun break is what you need the most in reading. Actually I would say it was coming to terms with that that opened up so many new genres for me – I used to scoff at fantasy (“for children”, I would say) but now I can’t believe it was not always part of my life. I hope you find many more books to enjoy in the coming months 🙂

    Also – this one sounds awesome. Love the remote setting and the creepy town.. Great review!

    Like

    1. EXACTLY! I don’t know where that comes from – I wonder if it’s the perfectionist in me? I wouldn’t expect those standards from anyone else – yet I beat myself up about it! No more!

      And read The Night Strangers if you’re into that sort of book!! It was so good. I live in NH, so it was fun to see my little state highlighted, especially in such a witch-y way!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it also has a lot to do with social conditioning… In school we learn that ‘classics’ are literature, and most newer stuff is ‘pulp’ or ‘fluff’ (can you believe it, I never even read new releases or newer books before because I was so trained to think of them as somehow ‘lesser’ than vetted works). The moment I learned to stop feeling guilty for reading whatever I wanted, even if it wasn’t ‘high art’, is when my reading really took off.

        AND – that’s awesome – I love books that are set in my part of the world 🙂 (DC-MD-VA metro region). And also, mysterious ‘witch-y’ books – I will absolutely plan on The Night Strangers this summer 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This book sounds so intense and spooky, and its definitely piqued my interest. Also, I’m one of those demented people who would totally read this on a plane ride. During my most recent visit to Chicago, I rode the train and read Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (half of it, anyway…).

    Like

  6. This book sounds so intense and spooky, and its definitely piqued my interest. Also, I’m one of those demented people who would totally read this on a plane ride. During my most recent visit to Chicago, I rode the train and read Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (half of it, anyway…).

    Like

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