Title: The Women in the Walls
Author: Amy Lukavics
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Amy Lukavics wasn’t an author I’d read before, until the October book for our book club was chosen. On the very night I finished Nightingale, one of my friends in the club dragged me over to the shelves and found The Women in the Walls, demanding that I take it home, because it was even scarier than Nightingale. I didn’t believe her, honestly, because Nightingale was pretty damn freaky, but this book, man! This is the second book I’ve read by Lukavics, and I can promise you all that it will not be my last. In fact, I’ve already got The Ravenous in my library stack, and she also begged me to read her debut, Daughters Unto Devils. I’m an addict for this woman’s writing. I’m obsessed! This chilling and ghoulish, gory ghost story is still stuck in my head, and I just finished it this afternoon! The Women in the Walls just might be my favorite in her entire body of work, depending on how I find The Ravenous.
Lucy Acosta’s mother died when she was three years old, and ever since, she’s lived in an old, Victorian mansion with her cold, distant father and her eccentric aunt, Penelope. Penelope’s daughter, Margaret, is Lucy’s cousin and best friend. When Penelope disappears one cold, rainy night, Lucy finds herself entirely alone as well as utterly devastated. Margaret begins spending time alone in the attic, claiming that she can hear her mother’s voice through the walls. Forced helplessly to watch while her only friend’s sanity unravels, Lucy slowly begins to realize that her family, as well as the house itself, is hiding ancient and deadly secrets that have led her to a dark legacy that has marked her and the rest for generations. And Lucy realizes, too late, that some secrets are better left buried…
This book was, in a word, weird. But I’m starting to realize that that’s Lukavics’s thing: gothic, spine-tingling horror with a ton of gore and more than a healthy heaping of terror. It was a little confusing for me at first, because I could not figure out, at first, whether the story took place in the Victorian era. Once I got past though, this book sucked me in entirely. There were times when I wanted to put it down, but I couldn’t, because I just had to know what was going to happen! I was thoroughly creeped out as the book went on; I was constantly paranoid and jumpy, due to the claustrophobic feeling of the Acostas’ home. I was hypnotized by Lucy’s chilling, honest narration, and the pacing was breakneck. This book grabbed my throat and didn’t let go, even after the last terrifying page. This might be a ghost story, but it’s certainly not run-of-the-mill; it is decidedly unique. I don’t want to give away anything about the twists and turns and the monsters of the novel; I’ll keep those as a surprise for anyone reading who hasn’t read the book. The other characters, particularly Margaret, Penelope, and Lucy’s father, were fantastic foils to her, and I especially enjoyed the creepy, terrifying promise of the ending. As I said before, this book may be my favorite of the two books I’ve read by Lukavics; I’ll certainly never forget it. The bottom line: Spooky, chilling, gory and shocking, I loved The Women in the Walls! Next on deck: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett!