The Mourning House by Ronald Malfi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Mourning House by Ronald Malfi
This novella is perfect, compact, and complete. A strong plot line, a couple of back stories, good characterizations, and an old abandoned house which is a character all in itself. Yes, the title does play out in the course of the story, although the working out is subtle. In general, this story is all about subtlety: no bludgeoning nor splatterpunk here. This is the work of an accomplished author (and I knew to expect that after reading Mr. Malfi’s novels “The Floating Staircase” and “Snowblind” in 2012).
A former surgeon who considers himself responsible for the death of his wife and infant daughter goes “on the road” for an extended period, not to find himself but to continue to mourn. Somehow he is “drawn” to find an isolated, abandoned, spooky, falling-in house on a dusty back road in Maryland, not too far from Chesapeake Bay. The house is problematical: it has caused troubles and terrors to exploratory kids. It will come to trouble Sam as well.
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