Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Drowning Kind comes a genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, that brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us.

1978: At her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist Dr. Helen Hildreth is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when she’s home with her cherished grandchildren, Vi and Eric, she’s just Gran—teaching them how to take care of their pets, preparing them home-cooked meals, providing them with care and attention and love.

Then one day Gran brings home a child to stay with the family. Iris—silent, hollow-eyed, skittish, and feral—does not behave like a normal girl.

Still, Violet is thrilled to have a new playmate. She and Eric invite Iris to join their Monster Club, where they catalogue all kinds of monsters and dream up ways to defeat them. Before long, Iris begins to come out of her shell. She and Vi and Eric do everything together: ride their bicycles, go to the drive-in, meet at their clubhouse in secret to hunt monsters. Because, as Vi explains, monsters are everywhere.

2019: Lizzy Shelley, the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us, is traveling to Vermont, where a young girl has been abducted, and a monster sighting has the town in an uproar. She’s determined to hunt it down, because Lizzy knows better than anyone that monsters are real—and one of them is her very own sister.

Kindle, 352 pages
Expected publication: April 26, 2022
by Simon & Schuster CA
4.5/5 stars

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a Jennifer McMahon book. This one sounded so interesting and I went in reading Frankenstein a couple weeks ago. It’s not necessary but I’m glad I did.

Alternating between 1977 and 2017, more so the past story line and that is the one that really appealed to me.

In 1977 you know something isn’t quite right and with the appearance of Iris, out of the blue sets Vi out to discover where she came from. All three kids, Eric, Vi and Iris are obsessed with monsters which leads to The Book of Monsters which is dispersed throughout this story.  

In 2017 the story continues 40 years later with mysterious disappearances and the past resurfacing. I enjoyed the intrigue and couldn’t quite figure things out.

This was a mysterious creepy read, there was suspense, intrigue and that genuine ghosty feel throughout.  There were twists that threw me a couple times. But while I found the ending to be good and satisfying the execution lacked the tension and suspense that would have completed the vibes created in this book.

The Children On The Hill releases April 26 and available for preorder now.

My thanks to Simon & Schuster CA for a digital arc in exchange for a honest review.

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