First off, I’ll catch you up: The denizens of Harrow County have all been created by a witch and, for a time, controlled by that same witch. From the blood and dirt, they say she created her servants – both people and haints (ghouls, ghosts, and other dark creatures). Her human servants turned on her and killed her; consider this the anti-creation story. They hung her on and then buried her under the same tree. From the trunk of the tree in her death was then birthed her final creation: a daughter, Emmie.
Emmie has lived without the knowledge of her secret birthing for eighteen years, and then her world was spun. Her neighbors tried to kill her, and the haints came to her. This was the first volume. In this second volume, Emmie is using her newly formed friendship with the haints to help find balance between both them and the townsfolk, when rolling into town comes a surprise visitor . . . Emmie’s twin sister Kammi. This is Stephen King’s Little House on the Prairie.
Now, back to the initial question: Why is the book so haunting? Why does it get under your skin? It does so by transporting you back to a time in which your imagination ran wild, when you looked around your room at night and could see any number of things staring back at you. This isn’t a book full of the monsters in slasher films or villains in comic books – these are the monsters of our childhood.
The fear is found in the beautiful simplicity of both its telling and art. These are the stories that could easily be told sitting around a camp fire or being tucked into bed, sending your dreams swirling after your eyes closed. This story taps into the darker corners of a child’s mind. It’s drawn in such a way that’s reminiscent of a children’s story or a child’s drawing for that matter: watercolors on white paper made beautifully by Crook.
Everyone deserves to read this book, you included.