ATTENTION WRITERS - Here is your chance to share your work. Send us your short stories to be published on-line. Click here for details Don't Delay

LATEST UPDATES


December 9



December 1, 2017
Updated Convention Listings and
Rocky Horror Picture Show


November
Book Pick
of the Month




November 15
New reviews in
The Book Nook,
Odds and Ends and
Voices From the Past


November 12



November 1, 2017
Updated Convention Listings and
Rocky Horror Picture Show


Previous Updates

WesternSFA


The Family Plot
by Cherie Priest
Tor, $25.99, 365pp
Pub date: Sep 2016

This is a solid little ghost story set in Tennessee.  Dahlia works for her father’s salvage company, finding old homes set to be demolished and taking away everything possible for resale.  They find an amazingly beautiful old home with enough goodies in the chestnut wood walls and floors, stained glass and original fixtures to put the shaky company back in the black for several months.  But the owner gives them less than a week to complete the job before the bulldozers arrive.  Chuck sends Dahlia along with a crew and a couple trucks, confident that she’ll be able to finish the job on time. 

Dahlia falls in love with the house at first sight; it is a puzzle to her why the old woman wants to demolish such a beautiful home that could easily be restored.  But the opportunity to recover such amazing wood and glass did tend to restore a healthy amount of greed.  Dahlia was first inside the house – a personal ritual to introduce herself to the house.  She wasn’t in the house more than a few minutes when the first ….event happened.  She shrugged off the front door locking itself as the wind and an old lock.  But a short stroll around the grounds caused her some consternation when she glimpsed what looked like a young girl in a yellow dress…but found no one when she ran closer.

Things get weirder when one of the crew sees a young man in a WWI uniform standing in the woods, and one of the bedrooms is locked and resists all efforts to open.  But the worst horror is in the bathroom to the point that they have to employ a ‘buddy’ system to stay safe.  Dahlia eventually realizes that she is being particularly targeted – probably due to her unresolved issues with her ex-husband.  Dahlia also figures out that there is someone else in the house, someone who is acting as a protector for Dahlia.  And while it would seem to be the better part of common sense to just leave, the real world issues of keeping the company solvent takes precedent.

This mystery/ghost story builds solidly but slowly.  I liked the characters a lot, she spent a decent amount of time on each of the crew so that we had a good image of each of them.  Dahlia slowly uncovered details about the family that lived in the house which kept my interest.  There is, of course, a nasty life-threatening event that would seem to precipitate the climax but didn’t – the reader and Dahlia are left with questions.  And it might be because I’m not really a ghost story-type reader that I was unhappy with the ending but I thought it was a bit of a cheat.  But don’t let that stop you from picking up this book; Priest is a very competent storyteller and you might love the ending.  ~~ Catherine Book

Follow us

for notices on new content and events.

Our Columns:

The Book Nook
Reviews of the latest in science fiction and fantasy

The Illustrated Corner
Reviews of the latest in Manga and Graphic Novels

Odds and Ends
Reviews of non-genre items our staff enjoyed
(Can be books, movies, TV shows or music)

Voices from the Past
Reviews of genre books from the past (at least 20 years old)
and those which are Out of Print but still wonderful to read

A Chat with
Interviews with people of interest
Current Interview: Brandon Sanderson

Author Appearance & News
This page lists author signings and appearances, convention news
and any other events we think might interest our readers.

Reel Talk
Reviews of current genre movies in the theater
and favorite and new DVD releases

A Tale Told Thusly
A place for new and established writers to show off their short stories

Trivia Contests

In Remembrance
Memories of those who have passed on



WesternSFA Main Page

Links of Interest

Email Us

Disclaimer

Copyright ©2005-2017 All Rights Reserved
(Note that external links to guest web sites are not maintained by WesternSFA)
Comments, questions etc. email WebMaster