THE CHILDREN ON THE HILL by Jennifer McMAHON

A genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, which brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us.

I was more than willing to go down the rabbit hole with this one. I do love a good ghost/horror story and with a Mary Shelley-inspired piece, who could resist?

Our narration goes back and forth between 1978/80 to 2019.

In 1978 the highly regarded psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is working with the mentally ill in Vermont. A beautiful place on the surface. Her unorthodox methods carry over to home as well. At home, she is just grandmother to Vi and Eric, whose parents were killed in a car accident.

The kids are homeschooled and their lessons may be unorthodox, but they are also brilliant. Gran has her lab in the basement and lets them play with the mice. Eric collects injured animals from everywhere, filling his room with crippled critters. Violet is more into fighting monsters.

They have their own Monster Hunters Club where they look for clues and look for monsters who walk among us. And they don’t have to look far.

One day Gran brings them home a girl. Iris. She looks rough and has obviously had some type of brain surgery. She doesn’t talk at all but after a bit, the kids get her interested in the world and the monsters. She and Vi become inseparable.

Fast Forward to 2019. Lizzy Shelley is the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us and is hunting an elusive monster in Louisiana when she receives an email from a mnstrgirl. Come home, to Vermont, and find me. Lizzy understands that her past has caught up to her and one of the monsters is calling to her. Only this time she knows the monster is real because it is her sister.

Lizzy heads to Vermont to find a missing girl that a monster supposedly has taken and killed. Against all of her better judgment, Lizzy dives in and finds out just what and who a monster really is.

This was a really good read. All those ghost stories told around the campfire have nothing on this scary tale. I was shocked at the end and that is the best ending!

NetGalley/ April 26th, 2022 by Gallery/Scout Press





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