Monday, March 21, 2011

Girls' Weekend

Mike was out snowboarding this weekend so it was just us girls (yes, I'm that nerdy -- girls meaning me, the cats, and the dog). I loaded up the movie queue with chick flicks and headed out to see Lincoln Lawyer on my own (more about that another time) and got some reading in, too.

And what did I devote my lovely, quiet (well, maybe not so quiet considering my neighbors) weekend to reading? Dan Simmons's A Winter Haunting, for one!

I couldn't resist. I just read Summer of Night and I had to return to Elm Haven again. Plus, I love Simmons and the book got rave reviews when it was released in 2002.

Though this book is a sequel in some sense to Summer of Night, it's not exactly. Dale Stewart returns, as do a few other characters. It takes place in Elm Haven, on Duane McBride's old farm, and there are some references to the events of the summer of 1960, but Dale actually doesn't remember what happened so if you haven't read Summer, you can still read Winter all on its own. Though I'd suggest making time for them both 'cause Simmons is amazing!

After an attempted suicide, Dale Stewart leaves his teaching position, taking a nine month sabbatical to write his new novel and figure some things out. He's chosen to return to Elm Haven, renting the old farmhouse his friend Duane McBride used to live in. Rumor has it the house is haunted and Duane's aunt kept the place almost exactly as it was back in 1960, the only time Dale ever stepped foot in the home. The second floor has been closed off for four decades and even Duane's and his father's things are still in their old places. The longer Dale stays in the house, the more strange things he begins to experience. But is Dale going mad or is the house truly inhabited by something inhuman?

Oooh, the atmosphere and the storytelling! And I so loved returning to Elm Haven. I know, it's kind of a creepy little dying town, especially considering the events of both books, but I love the idea of the two stories being tied together by a common place and characters even if they do stand alone on their own.

Definitely highly recommended, readers. Horror and psychological suspense fans will love it!


Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Since you posted about Summer of Night, I was lucky to be able to find a copy (yay Paperbackswap!) and I hope to devote a weekend to Simmons soon!

Becky LeJeune said...

Yay! I hope you love 'em Jenn! And it's a great way to spend the weekend. I tried to go out and read Winter Haunting in the sun, but it was too windy : )