Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer Mcmahon Review
From Goodreads: On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.
Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.
My Take: The process of reading this book can easily be compared to watching “The Sixth Sense.” I loved that movie, by the way, even though it utterly freaked me out. The scene everyone knows is where Hayley Joel Osment admits to Bruce Willis that he sees dead people. Significantly, during that scene, he explains how he feels right before he sees the person. It’s that feeling you get when the hair on the back of your neck stands up – that’s when you know they are there. So yeah, I am a grown woman who sometimes thinks about this when I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and I creep myself out thinking about that.
So here’s the deal with fairies – never EVER copulate with one. They are not nice creatures at all. They may want to take your baby someday and replace it with a changeling or whatever. So like the Sixth Sense, you spend your time wondering if the paranormal stuff is real or imagined. More and more information is revealed to you and, at the same time, a story is developing in the present tense. Everybody has a secret or two and there are things that have remained hidden for all these years that are now coming to light.
The similarity to Sixth Sense is that you know that you are in the presence of the “Dark Man” who is fairy or part fairy is that you briefly see a shadow move in your peripheral vision. Now try reading this one late at night when everybody else is asleep. Just when you’re thoroughly engrossed and wondering if it could be true your stupid cat jumps on your chest to curl up and go to sleep but instead you startle the crud out of her because you let out a strangled yelp. Then the hair on the back of your neck is standing up and you start wondering if there is a ghost in the room.
You must go to bed at that moment. You’re losing it and your cat is not returning.
I really enjoyed the story and the process of learning the facts along with the possible paranormal explanations. I was not nearly as satisfied with the ending as with Sixth Sense but I’m certain the author did not intend for someone to be comparing her book to this movie. It’s not one I will easily forget and I would recommend it for a really good psychological thriller with vague ending.