Well hello again, as many of you know I’m participating in the #25infive challenge on Instagram; it requires you to read 25 hours in five days (but any amount of hours will do!) I NEVER manage 25 hours, I’m always under, but two days in (technically one but I was a boob and thought Wednesday was Thursday) I’ve hit seven hours and completed my first read.
The Lingering by SJI Holliday has been on both my to buy and to read list since it was first published by Orenda Books on the 15th of September this year. Many of you will notice that it was finally part of a monthly book haul in a post last week. Holliday has written a number of books, which you can find here.
I’ve read so many great reviews about this book; I just had to have it! My gosh am I glad that I now own a copy *my precious*. It blew me away, SJI Holliday is definitely in the running for the Queen of Creepy! It is most definitely true what they say; the best thing do come in small packages! With a page count of 259 (Amazon says 302 pages, am I missing something?) it doesn’t half pack a spine chilling punch! Before we get to what I thought of the book (all good things OF COURSE) here’s some information about the writer and book.
“Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…”
As you’ve already guessed, Ali and Jack are the main characters who have decided to liberated themselves from mainstream society to live in a commune within an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Ali a psychiatric nurse and Jack an ex – policeman they were welcomed greatly by the founder of The Rosalind House Community Project, Smeaton Dunsmore. Not going to lie, my creep-dar started to go a bit crazy at this point.
The story is told from various view points, including that of Ali and a commune member Angela, who is a young lass who is immediately there to befriend Ali and Jack. In this place that is self – sufficient, where everyone gets along and work within the commune (chef, gardener etc.), will Jack and Ali find the fresh start that they long for?
The storyline also flicks back to 1955 in the style of journal entries from a doctor whom worked at the hospital before it was old and abandoned, which adds to the eeriness of the storyline, as well as providing much needed insight into the buildings previous ‘guests’ aka its ‘disturbing history’.
The Lingering can be described as a psychological thriller with gothic twists and a dash of supernatural. All these elements combined with keep you on your toes, or reaching for the covers!
What I Thought
As you’ve already guessed, I loved this book! It just radiated a dark brilliance. A well giving off Haunting of Hill House and The Shinning vibes, there were areas of the broke that just broke my heart, this made the read so perfect for me. Also, who doesn’t love a creepy story set in THE MOST scary setting of an old abandoned psych. hospital? Exactly!The whole book was a rollercoaster of emotions, where at times I had to remind myself to breathe! Also, I have never hated a character so much (in a good way), you’ll have to read it to find out EXACTLY what I mean, no spoilers here.
Holliday’s talented ability to create a magnitude of in-depth character with several layers of personality is phenomenal. I thought I had every character sussed from the get go, the twists and turns involved were completely unexpected and had me glued to the pages. The Lingering is a massively compulsive book that I will continue shouting about for a long time, it is one of my most favourite reads of 2018 and it is most definitely in my top 10 reads ever!
The first time I picked up the book it was just before I went to bed and it was the first 8 pages, those 8 pages in themselves are creepy ASF! It made the whole thing feel cult-like, especially with the member list headlined ‘Our Family’ – very Charles Manson! As well as providing ‘advisories’ of what family members should not do, such as contact with anyone on the outside of commune. And don’t even get me started on those guidelines!
I really liked that SJI Holliday used her experiences to create the foundation for such a fascinating storyline. Not a lot of authors are able to channel that life experience through their work but Holliday did a really outstanding job with the knowledge of communes and clinical trials etc.
Guess how many stars I scored this unsettling beauty? Of course it was 5 stars!Everyone needs to read this great book, then recommend it to the bookworms in their lives! Or it’s Christmas what a perfect stocking filler or secret Santa for friends / family who read, even if they don’t read get it for them because this will get them hooked on the reading drug. It’s only £1.99 on kindle right now and did you know you can now gift e-books? Isn’t that excellent?
If you’ve read it, let me know what you think in the comments section.
Whatever you may be reading right now,