The Night Strangers

The Night Strangers
By: Chris Bohjalian
Published: 2011
# of pages: 375

Official description: From the bestselling author of The Double BindSkeletons at the Feast, and Secrets of Eden, comes a riveting and dramatic ghost story. In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts.             The home's new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, has to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure. Unlike the Miracle on the Hudson, however, most of the passengers aboard Flight 1611 die on impact or drown. The body count? Thirty-nine – a coincidence not lost on Chip when he discovers the number of bolts in that basement door. Meanwhile, Emily finds herself wondering about the women in this sparsely populated White Mountain village – self-proclaimed herbalists – and their interest in her fifth-grade daughters. Are the women mad? Or is it her husband, in the wake of the tragedy, whose grip on sanity has become desperately tenuous?   
The result is a poignant and powerful ghost story with all the hallmarks readers have come to expect from bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian: a palpable sense of place, an unerring sense of the demons that drive us, and characters we care about deeply. 
The difference this time? Some of those characters are dead.
My opinion: First of all, why is the book called The Night Strangers?  The title doesn't match the story at all.  Secondly, this is an intense, but not too scary, book!  I enjoyed reading it because it kept my attention, made me wonder and think about what was going on, and creeped me out without really scaring me.  I thought the blend of story lines was unique and while I was wondering if they would collide in a messy heap, I was pleasantly surprised when it all came together at the end.  I particularly liked the ending because it was unexpected and original.

I didn't connect with any of the characters and found myself frustrated with the character of Emily throughout the book.  Her husband is going through PTSD and depression, but she isn't very supportive or involved in his life.  And when things start getting weird, she doesn't question it until it's too late.

I can imagine this book being made into a movie.  It wasn't in depth enough (as far as the characters) for me to really like, but it was entertaining.  I recommend it to fans of horror, suspense, and paranormal fiction.  It has one brief sex scene and some language, but nothing overwhelming.  There's also a theme of witchcraft throughout the book.

I have to mention: I really liked another of Bohjalian's books called Midwives.  Excellent writing on an issue that is so controversial (at least where I live!).  It's also just a good story.

Why I gave this book 3/5 stars:  Interesting, easy read, unique story line, characters not easy to relate to, story line not engrossing enough to keep me completely hooked.

Other reviews:
S. Krishna's Books

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

posted under , |


Jill said...

I agree with your point of view about this novel. I've read four or five others by Bohjalian, and this one comes across as amateurish by comparison. Midwives is outstanding, but even better is The Double Bind. Wow!

Andrea said...

I loved Midwives! I'll have to check out Double Bind. It looks really good.

Newer Post Older Post Home


About Me

My photo
Wife, mother, bookworm.
This is a place where you can read book reviews, discover links, and learn about the reading challenges in which I'm taking part.


my read shelf:
Andrea's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Annual Goal

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Andrea has read 0 books toward her goal of 60 books.

Recent Comments