Writer: Tenacity Plys
Publisher: Bottlecap Press
Publish Date: 1st October 2022
Reviewed By: Dean Asquith
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
They say in town that every generation, fairies lure a member of Virgil's family into the local woods, never to be seen again. Virgil doesn't really care about that; they're just squatting at their aunt's vacant house during quarantine. But one night, they're awoken by a knocking at the back door that leads them into a tangle of family secrets, and a mystery that's as heartbreaking as it is chilling.
To understand their family history and avoid disappearing themself, Virgil has to piece together journal entries from three generations of their relatives, who all spent their lives wondering why their siblings were taken. Has a serial killer been operating in the area for over a century? Could it be the aliens Virgil's great-uncle saw on an acid trip? And who is the figure watching them all from the forests' edge?
Every relative has their pet theory, and they get to argue about it in the margins as each narrator leaves comments on the others' writing via Post-Its, footnotes, and more. The found-document form is stretched to the limit by this cacophonous debate across time, and in the end no one story holds the whole truth.
If Virgil can solve the puzzle, they won't just save themselves—they'll put more than a hundred years' worth of family history to rest. This story of a neurodivergent family's struggle to understand themselves is by turns spooky, funny, sad, and hopeful despite everything.
Family Curse: Field Notebooks (1880-2020) is a unique horror/supernatural story that centres around a collection of journals from a single family and their struggles with a potentially sinister being(s) living in the woods around their house.
Tenacity handles the three alternating journals (storylines) expertly. With three distinct personalities to traverse, you would expect some potential slip ups or blending of styles. Tenacity ensures this doesn’t happen. Cradling each journal's characteristics and annotating with other points of view, Tenacity provides an interesting and unique reading experience.
Each of the characters are well designed and the ‘villain’ of the story is haunting…let’s face it, who isn’t haunted by potentially demonic/ghostly/alien children…I am!
My 2 bugbears were that sometimes I got confused with the formatting which didn’t seem to work correctly in the kindle app and the ending seemed very abrupt. Other than that, it is a solid read.
Family Curse: Field Notebooks (1880-2020) by Tenacity Plys is a unique and punchy horror novella which is worth reading by supernatural/paranormal or general horror fans. Thank you Love Books Tours for the ARC and the opportunity to take part in the tour.