Review: Mormama by Kit Reed


317028043 stars


MORMAMA is a riveting supernatural, southern gothic tale from Kit Reed. Readers of Joyce Carol Oates and James M. Cain will enjoy this unnerving tale.

Dell Duval has been living on the street since his accident. He can’t remember who he was or where he came from. All he has is a tattered note in his pocket with an address for the Ellis house, a sprawling, ancient residence in Jacksonville. He takes up residence under the house in the basement unknown to the residents upstairs. He just needs time to figure out why he’s been sent here.

In the house, Lane and her son Theo have returned to the family home—their last resort after Lane’s husband cleans out her bank account and leaves. The old house is ruled by an equally ancient trio of tyrannical aunts, who want to preserve everything. Nothing should leave the house, including Lane.

Something about the house isn’t right. Things happen to the men and boys living there. There are forces at work one of which visits Theo each night—Mormama, one mama too many.

Gothic Haunting: two words which are like music to my ears when it comes to book genre!

 This book is told from a variety of perspectives, alternating between chapters – in this case I didn’t enjoy each perspective equally and a couple of them were quite hard to connect to. I think it was the literary style of this book that stopped it from really appealing to me, it was definitely more a case of personal taste rather than a slight on her writing style.

Of all the characters we follow in this book, Mormana and her flashbacks to her lifetime have to be my favourite. I love a good flashback and her view on the world and the way things were is easy to empathise with.

Lane and her young teenage son Theo are forced to move back into her family home with her elderly aunts, following the breakdown of her marriage. But there are old family secrets and spirits still to be found in the house.

This book wasn’t as much of a horror as I expected it to be, it ran more with the old theory that hauntings are strong emotions and resentments that run deep and attach themselves to a place. This isn’t a problem for me – just not what I was expecting!
It’s a book about women, specifically a time where women weren’t the focus of attention and their rivalries were overlooked. It looks at the relationships between mothers, daughters and sisters in particular – some of the resentments there are definitely strong enough to be worth of a haunting or two!

The ending of this book didn’t have quite enough clout to be convincing for me, it felt like the threads of story had lost their way a little bit but this won’t be the first or the last time that I’ve missed the point of a subtle story.

If you like your haunting stories to have a little more literary…ness than horror, this should float your boat!

7 thoughts on “Review: Mormama by Kit Reed

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