WILDWOOD ROAD by Christopher Golden


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Haunted house tale, restrained and adult.

Driving home from a masquerade with his wife Jillian passed out on the back seat, Michael Dansky falls asleep at the wheel and almost hits a little girl standing on the dark roadside. He takes her home to a house on a hill on unlighted Wildwood Road. The big house, a shambles, looks like “a relic out of time, as if it had been decorated in the 1940s, and remained untouched since then.” It has a light only in its turret. Oddly, the girl tells him, Find me if you can, and goes in alone. Michael thinks better of this, goes in himself, looks through room after dark room for her. He comes upon silver rippling ghosts and throws himself out a window to escape them. Michael is top artist with an ad agency, a job Golden does well in dramatizing, and Jillian is the admired top paralegal at her law firm. One night, Michael comes home to find gray female ghosts attacking her. They suck Jillian’s childhood memories out of her, and in daily life she slowly becomes a bitter cynic, all sweet memories of youth and childhood gone. To recover his new bitch-wife’s lost mind, Michael seeks out the dark house but can’t find it. He does see the little girl, Susan Barnes, standing by For Sale signs in the dark. When he looks up the last realtor who tried to sell the dark house, a house that moves about not only New England but Europe as well, he finds the name Susan Barnes. What’s clear is that the little girl is Susan’s lost childhood. Susan’s bitter son tells him that his well-loved mother went bitch-crazy two years earlier and since then has been lodged in a psyche ward. Now Michael must take Jillian to the dark house.

May be Golden’s best and a step up from 2004’s The Boys Are Back in Town.

Pub Date: April 5th, 2005
ISBN: 0-553-38208-X
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Spectra/Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2005


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