Multiple generations seek truth and find horror in this Faust-inspired gothic tale.
On a remote mountain in North Wales, two main storylines follow Zoey in the present day and Roan in 1851. After Roan’s father dies, she discovers that his very recent will grants custody of her to a Dr. Maudley, and she’s packed away to live with him in Mill House. Upon arrival, she learns she’s not Dr. Maudley’s only ward. She meets fiery Emma and Seamus, who uses a wheelchair—Irish siblings—and starts to unpack the lies covering up the house’s secrets and her own. In the contemporary storyline, Zoey’s drawn to the long-abandoned Mill House—her father, researching his family, made a pilgrimage there only to return, sans memory, as a shell of himself. Zoey, who shares strange gifts with her father, hopes she can find answers for him. But strange experiences she has leave her feeling like she isn’t alone; she only starts finding answers after it’s too late. The complicated stories are organized through design and format choices that also enhance narrative tension and skillfully manipulate the pacing. Even the romances, straight and lesbian, have creepy elements. Delightfully disturbing imagery culminates in a quick finale. Most characters default to white—there’s brief mention of Zoey having an aunt Sanjeet and, in diary entries from the 1580s, mention of a woman of African descent.
An eerie, atmospheric satanic spooky story. (Horror. 14-adult)