Sundial By Catriona Ward

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Sundial By Catriona Ward

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Book/Novel Author: Catriona Ward

Book/Novel Title: Sundial

 

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“DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK. Authentically terrifying.” —Stephen KingA LibraryReads Top 10 Pick!STARRED review from Publishers Weekly!Anticipated and Recommended by Bustle, USA Today, CNN, i09, The Nerd Daily, LitReactor, GoodReads, LitHub, and more!Sundial is a new, twisty psychological horror novel from Catriona Ward, internationally bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street.You can’t escape what’s in your blood…All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. But Rob fears for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind. She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice. Callie is worried about her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely, and speaks of past secrets. And Callie fears that only one of them will leave Sundial alive…The mother and daughter embark on a dark, desert journey to the past in the hopes of redeeming their future.”A story where nothing is what it seems—a thrilling hall of mirrors full of deeply disturbing twists. This book will haunt you.” —Alex Michaelides, #1 New York Times bestselling authorAt the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
This book is an emotional gut punch. So beautifully written I want to study it for how to improve my own writing. The story itself is a tangled web of darkness, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. FWIW I cannot read stories about animal abuse and this one didn’t hit me like that. I don’t know why, as I knew what was going on; I think the author just doesn’t describe it enough or glorify it so it was easier for me to take. The story IS a lot, but for me the writing made it all worth it.
I read and loved Last House on Needles Street last year, and loved it. But Sundial raises the bar even further. I won’t give you any resymé, just a strong recommandation. This is just about as good as a horror story gets, don’t wait for the probably underwhelming movie that certainly will be made!
If you like your characters complicated and often unpleasant – mean even, then have I ever found a book for you! I love reading about those types of characters because you know what? When well-done characters who do and say horrible things are never boring and these people won me over with their awfulness. Every time I thought they couldn’t outdo the last terrible thing, they managed to top it, haha. Some of these people are that way due to reasons but others are that way just because and that’s fine too.This is another one of those books that are very difficult to review without spoiling things so I’ll be brief. When things start out we are introduced to Rob and Irving. They live in a beautiful neighborhood and have two daughters. One of the daughters is exhibiting some disturbing signs of being troubled, and well, it feels understandable because Rob and Irving absolutely despise each other and don’t even pretend to hide it from the kids. I put the book down after about the first 10% or so and read a wacky paranormal book because their toxic relationship was a lot to handle and I needed a little breathing space. When I picked it up again things started getting weird, conversations sometimes a wee bit confusing and it was then that I was hooked and had to know exactly what the heck was happening. And let me tell ya, I didn’t guess a single thing ahead of time and I LOVE that. I had a few notes with guesses and they were all wrong. Oops, guess I don’t know everything after all!The reveals were terrifying to me. Horror is a VERY individual thing but these reveals absolutely got under my skin in the most disturbing way – so yeah, this was horror all the way for me.There are so many little clues that I noted here that on a second read will have me thinking “ahhh, there it is!” but even so I never would’ve figured it out on my own. I love that for me and hope it happens for you to if you choose to read Sundial (psssst be very careful with spoilery reviews because you don’t want it ruined for yourself!)
Rob and Irving have two beautiful daughters, rewarding teaching careers, they live in a good neighbourhood and take the utmost care of their house. Life, on the outside, looks perfect for the Cussens family. But Rob knows the truth. There’s something about her eldest daughter, Callie, which puts her on edge. To the point where she feels her other daughter, Annie, isn’t safe. When the proof arrives, Rob makes the decision to move Callie as far away from her sibling as possible for a few days and drives to her family home of Sundial in the Mojave Desert. In the isolation of the desert, surrounded by painful, difficult memories and the ghosts of her family, Rob will have to make the hardest decision she’s ever made….Dark and disturbing, Sundial was an absolute dream to read. I adored every unsettling moment I spent amongst the pages of this exquisite novel. The author is a master at writing highly complex, utterly intriguing, yet deeply flawed characters who, over time, reveal their true selves, and it makes for compulsive reading. I adored Rob. It’s clear from the moment she and Callie arrive at Sundial that her past, and her family, were very different to the norm. Dysfunctional is an understatement! The more the reader discovers, the more shocking things become. I’m loathe to say too much in fear of giving something away that I shouldn’t. There are so many well-plotted layers to this novel that each chapter brings a new revelation. Something to twist and shape what you thought into something new and different which makes for a thrilling, unpredictable reading experience.Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Sundial is highly original, darkly compelling and totally twisted (in the best way possible). The pressure really was on for the author following the huge success of The Last House on Needless Street but by George, she’s gone and done it again! Sundial is a very different beast to its predecessor but I think I preferred it ever so slightly. Both books are superb but I think this one, for me, takes the edge. The setting is very well drawn, I could feel the heat of the Mojave Desert blistering my skin. The characters have real depth and I felt as though they were living and breathing in front of me. The plot flowed beautifully, keeping me within the pages and occupying my thoughts when I wasn’t reading. Addictive, uncomfortable at times but truly stunning in concept and delivery. Psychological horror at its absolute finest and this book firmly puts Ward on my ‘must read’ author list. I’m excited to see what Catriona Ward delivers next! Highly recommended.
I nearly gave up after the first few chapters, because it didn’t seem to be going anywhere except to describe the many character quirks. I kept going back to it between other books and I’m glad I did, because it definitely gets more interesting. Overall I enjoyed it, although the characters seemed too odd and had weird and secret goals all throughout this book.
This book has abuse of women, children and animals. If that’s your thing, proceed. If not, you’ve been warned. Very graphic.

 

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