It Will Just Be Us by Jo Kaplan

Publication Info: Expected publication date, September 8, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books. I read the Kindle pre-pub edition courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. Other editions will be available at the time of publication.

Summary: In a monstrosity of a house built by their ancestors, the current generations of Wakefields live at the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp. Agoraphobic Agnes Wakefield drinks excessively and watches the ghosts of her daughters playing in the yard. Samantha Wakefield, the younger of Agnes’ two — very much alive — daughters, teaches archaeology at the community college. The older and very pregnant daughter, Elizabeth, leaves her creepy husband and moves back in with her mother and sister.

Narrated by Sam, the story weaves folktales and history of the swamp into the past and present lives of the generations of Wakefields. With twenty seven shambling rooms, the house has room for many residents, alive and dead. There are ghosts everywhere, most of whom are benign. The Wakefields live with them, watching them live their lives, and deaths, over and over and over.

But their story becomes truly frightening when Sam sees a horrifying phantom from the future, something that never happened before. When she realizes who it is, she knows she must do something to stop the wraith from entering their lives.

Comments: It Will Just Be Us spans two genres, ghost story and horror novel. I used to read a lot of gothic and horror novels in the 60’s and 70’s, when those books were in vogue. I was also a lot younger and enjoyed being scared for fun. As I grew older, I realized how scary the world was without pretending. (Then along came 2020!) The horror genre also changed, becoming less psychological and more hack and slash, which I didn’t like at all.

It Will Just Be Us is a clever, original novel that hearkens back to the books I read in my childhood and early adult years. It is deliciously atmospheric.

Recommended for readers of Gothic novels, ghost stories and the horror genre.

My Rating: 4 STARS

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