Monday, August 22, 2011
Book Review: Those Across the River
Frank Nichols and his wife Eudora move into Frank’s family house in Whitbrow, Georgia. They had been ostracized by their colleagues in Chicago and are excited to get away from Eudora’s ex-husband and start anew. Frank is plagued by his tragic experiences in World War I and hopes that Whitbrow will distract him from his overwhelming feelings of guilt. Luckily, the plantation owned by Frank’s ancestors is just across the river and waiting to be explored. Frank decides to write a book about his great uncle who owned the plantation and ruled it with an iron fist. When the people of Whitbrow hear of Frank’s intentions, they recoil in fear. For they know that it is not just the ruins of the plantation that remain across the river.
Though this book isn’t scary, per se, it very very eerie in the best possible way. The characters aren’t always likable, which makes them real and easy to relate to. The town is a character in itself and develops from a lazy quaint village into a war zone. The transformation of Frank and Eudora is fantastic. Buehlman originally crafts them as happy “newlyweds” who are enthralled with their love for each other and their sarcastic wit. The changes to their character are subtle but beautifully crafted. There is great emotion in this novel which makes it not your typical horror novel. However, I did find the ending lacking and was disappointed because the rest of the book was so powerful. Still, I would recommend this to any lover of the horror genre, sci-fi, or just a good story.