In A House with Good Bones, Sam goes to stay with her mother, Edith, who is displaying dementia-like symptoms. Edith has redecorated her previously vibrant house with bland colors and questionable, racist photos. She also seems to be willfully rewriting her bleak family history, especially regarding her deceased mother and feared matriarch, Gran Mae. 

And if that wasn’t strange enough, the house seems to have a major bug problem, with swarms of ladybugs mysteriously appearing in the middle of the night. And that’s not to mention the jar of teeth, the ghostly hand found in Sam’s graduation picture, and the neighborhood vultures.

I love T. Kingfisher. The way that her characters remain skeptical and hilarious in the face of terror makes my heart sing. Similar to Kingfisher’s previous horror novels, The Twisted Ones, and The Hollow Places, regular people are placed in irregular circumstances, and freak the heck out. 

For most of the novel, it is not immediately clear how things are going to turn out, but I remained intrigued. But when the proverbial hits the fan, I was reminded how well Kingfisher creates truly nightmarish situations. Her imagination is terrifying, and I am so glad she shares it with us. 

In the audiobook, Mary Robinette Kowal’s performance of all Kingfisher’s wonderful characters is flawless, but it is her performance of Sam that truly impressed me. She really captures the many sides of Sam’s character; the traumatized granddaughter, the fretting daughter, the academic. Kowal is a great conduit for the light-hearted side of Kingfisher’s prose. 

As long as T. Kingfisher keeps writing books, I’ll keep reading them. I love her style, and her combination of humor and horror is unmatched. 

A House with Good Bones is out right now! Big thanks to Macmillan Audio for the advanced audiobook.

3 thoughts on “Review: A House with Good Bones, by T. Kingfisher (Tor Nightfire/Macmillan Audio)

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