THE DWELLING

Susie Moloney, Author . Atria $25 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7434-5662-3

It's not your typical haunted house: 362 Belisle Street, the central "character" in Susie Moloney's second novel (after A Dry Spell), is a two-story property with a Murphy bed, a working fireplace, phantom music that tinkles faintly at night and a collection of manipulative demons that play to the residents' vulnerabilities. The first buyers are a young couple whose marital tensions and financial strains leave them susceptible to the building's malevolent spirits. Then a divorced mother and her overweight, introverted son are seduced by the apparition of a playful orphan called Mariette. A near-alcoholic writer recovering from an intense break-up is the next to move in, only to suffer hallucinations of his dead father swinging from the ceiling. Moloney attempts to depict 362 Belisle as a being with a mind of its own, beckoning realtor Glenn Darnley throughout her multiple showings of the house, and claiming or rejecting its inhabitants. The tenants seem quite ordinary until mysterious events begin to occur, each episode terminating at a horrifying moment before Moloney launches into the next inhabitant's story. Newly widowed Glenn's travails connect the sagas of her three buyers, as her thoughts of her dead husband fill the gaps between stories. The perspective of the narrative similarly jumps, alternating between the fears of the three residents and the desires of this dwelling, a living and breathing macabre personality. Moloney manipulates the tension artfully, giving the reader glimpses of the house's history and leading to a suitably grotesque ending. 5-city author tour. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/13/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-1-4165-7371-5
Hardcover - 408 pages - 978-0-7434-7716-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 576 pages - 978-0-7434-5663-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 564 pages - 978-0-7704-2930-0
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-7434-7884-7
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