Wonderland

Zoje Stage. Mulholland, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-45849-8
In this tepid psychological thriller with a paranormal slant from Stage (Baby Teeth), 41-year-old Orla Bennett, a recently retired ballet dancer, and her family—husband Shaw and two young children—move from a New York City apartment to an old house on six acres deep in the Adirondacks. Shortly after their arrival, Orla and the children have deep misgivings about the secluded place, which seems to be home to a supernatural presence. But Shaw, an aspiring artist who grew up in the North Country, was drawn to the property—especially the towering, centuries-old pine tree behind the house—and advises Orla and the kids to disregard the increasingly strange occurrences (like 10 feet of snow falling overnight), all of which seem to be aimed at keeping the family on the property. Though Stage’s darkly lyrical writing style shines in places—particularly in creating memorable imagery—that can’t save a derivative story with a conspicuous lack of overall emotional intensity. This is disturbing for all the wrong reasons. Agent: Stephen Barbara and Claire Friedman, Inkwell Management. (July)
Reviewed on : 03/17/2020
Release date: 07/14/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-6007-3
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