“I had spent years imagining this manor, this magical place where nothing could hurt or upset us. A place of plenty, of light, of riches and luxury. And yet… this place was barren.”
And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
Star rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
Format: Library ebook
Summary: Silla and her younger sister Nori escape an abusive home in London to go live with their aunt in the family manor La Baume. Things begin to take a strange turn at their sanctuary once Aunt Cath retreats to the attic. The trees of the woods surrounding them grow closer to the house, a boy appears saying he is there to help when at the same time the girls are stalked by a creature their aunt calls the Creeper Man.
Review: This book had just about everything I want in a horror/thriller. First of all, the Creeper Man was pretty much Slenderman who I absolutely love the mythos of. But he’s also used in a way that is so unique and just– ugh it’s such good storytelling.
I love how gothic this novel is and how many classic gothic tropes it uses. A haunted manor, the mad woman in the attic, it was so good. I love gothic novels and this was just everything I love about them.
There were a lot of gross moments throughout the book. Lots of bugs and rotten food. I couldn’t eat around reading, I had to take a long break before I could be able to eat food. It’s a lot to take in.
It’s very addicting. Even at the grossest and creepiest moments I couldn’t set the book down. I wanted more and more. It wasn’t an easy read by any means. I was sobbing at the end and I sort of had to just sit and stare blankly for about half an hour to try to process. There is a happy ending, but it is also heartbreaking and truly tragic.
I’m honestly surprised I haven’t seen anyone talking about this book. It’s really amazing, I loved it so much. There are so many layers to the whole thing that I think I’m going to want multiple rereads on it to try to take everything in. I’m sure there are details I missed that I will spot in a second read and make me love it even more.
I like that the book ends on a hopeful note. I like to think everyone ends up happy in the end. But I’m not sure I fully forgive Aunt Cath for basically giving up and leaving Silla to try to manage everything on her own.
Recommendation: If you like horror, thrillers, Slenderman or gothic novels this is definitely one you should check out. It’s really well written.