Come Closer: Sara Gran
Reviewed By Steve Stred
That’s when this book came out.
Is it going through a renaissance? A resurgence from new readers or has it simply always been there, chugging along and popping up every now and then to say “hey, read me” much like a certain character within the book rears her head?
I can’t say for sure. What I will say is that in 2020 I saw this book mentioned a lot. And it was the frequent suggesting by Andrew Pyper that this is one of the best examples of Demon Possession in literature released recently that finally made me take the plunge.
What I liked: All I knew going in was that this was a story about a woman who may or may not be becoming possessed. The story follows Amanda and Ed, a newish married couple who’ve moved into a new loft together that they’re planning on making into their dream space.
It doesn’t take long until Amanda hears a tapping that they can’t find the source for the sound and then subtle changes begin. They fight more. She has impulses and urges.
Gran weaves a truly fascinating story of a woman who may or may not be possessed or who may or may not be struggling with mental health issues. Either way it’s a frightening journey into her psyche and as the tale enters the final quarter, things grow increasing unsettling.
I really loved the way the pace continually increased and the sections of the book reflected that with the writing style shifting with each new development. The frequent referencing of the demon possession book was great and works to either cement that she is possessed or as a deflection to her unchecked mental breakdown.
What I didn’t like: Frankly, I hated everything about the character of Amanda. She just irked me and that was probably the point from Gran. To make us struggle to feel sympathy for her or to wonder why she makes some of the decisions.
As well, I found Ed to be a fairly superficial character. We’re supposed to feel for him and his trying to support and deal with Amanda’s changing behaviours, but I never could really get onboard with him, due to his limited development.
Why you should buy this: Gran has truly crafted a captivating story. One that will unravel based on the path the reader takes while reading it. Is she possessed or breaking down? It’s a really great plot point and the story arc that Amanda took was fascinating.
Really enjoyed this one.
A recurrent, unidentifiable noise in her apartment. A memo to her boss that’s replaced by obscene insults. Amanda—a successful architect in a happy marriage—finds her life going off kilter by degrees. She starts smoking again, and one night for no reason, without even the knowledge that she’s doing it, she burns her husband with a cigarette. At night she dreams of a beautiful woman with pointed teeth on the shore of a blood-red sea.
The new voice in Amanda’s head, the one that tells her to steal things and talk to strange men in bars, is strange and frightening, and Amanda struggles to wrest back control of her life. Is she possessed by a demon, or is she simply insane?
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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