The latest installment from my Indiespensable subscription and I couldn’t wait to start!
A husband and wife move to the land between the lake and the woods to start their own life, across the lake from the city where they were raised. There they build their home and wish to build a family, but multiple failed pregnancies chips away at their hope, their marriage, and their sanity. That alone makes for an interesting concept for a book, but this one is wrapped in fable, a fairy tale, a fantasy world, and a nightmare.
I really wanted to love this book. I have thoroughly enjoyed each of my previous Indiespensable selections and had no reason to believe this experience would be any different. I know that this novel has received a great deal of critical acclaim. The writing style is certainly beautiful, lyrical, haunting. But, for me, the story is just too strange and unreal to truly enjoy. I understand fiction and fantasy involve the strange and unreal at times, but this just went too far for me, and when combined with the writing style, made the book seem overdone, too long, and frankly, painful. I don’t think I have ever given up on a book, but I was really tempted. I did finish, hoping that it would come around to something that touched me, but it just never got there.
Title: In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods
Author: Matt Bell
Publication: Soho Press, June 2013