In Between: D.M. Siciliano
Reviewed By Yvonne Miller
I have read the last two books that Siciliano wrote and enjoyed them both immensely. I liked The In Between but there were several instances that I became confused about the protagonist’s true feelings about the events of her past. She’s troubled and that is evident from the start. Amy is pregnant with her first child and with her husband’s blessing she returns to her childhood home to where it all began. She needs to work through her trauma, find clues to the why and dauntingly she needs to seek her father’s side of the story. What will her digging reveal and does she want to uncover the truths that reside in the bones of her childhood home?
The Inbetween features elements from the sub-genre of horror that focuses on the supernatural. It also examines the ugliness of humanity and the mistreatment that many children can experience. Amy was diagnosed with Alice in Wonderland syndrome which in basic terms means she can see the Inbetween of worlds. This is primarily the horror that can envelop her. One thing I have taken from the character is that she suffers from significant mental stress. I think in a lot of instances she reads too much into certain situations, looks for the horror where sometimes there are none, and ultimately seems to be mentally unwell.
Her experiences as a child have affected her relationship with both her sister, Lainey, and her father. Her mother passed away when she was a child. The fact that Amy is looking for answers once and for all and goes back into the lion’s den to seek them whilst being very pregnant seems an ill-advised decision on both her husband and Amy’s part. It will be stressful and could unwillingly put herself into premature labour.
The Inbetween suggests that time is not a linear concept, and the reader is thrown into different timelines with no warning. We’ve constantly got that creeping shadow edging further and further into our line of sight – we know something is seriously off. It’s sinister and creepy, the ghosts have a story to tell but for me, the ghosts are the simplest to understand. What is happening in front of Amy’s eyes regarding her father is far more difficult to decipher. Why does the colour of his shirt keep changing? From being a secondary character to transforming into the core of the story. His chameleon transition was food for thought and all eventually makes sense.
The Inbetween is a story that I enjoyed but I struggled with the writing style slightly. It was almost written in a kind of poetic realism style and just felt like a lot of descriptive words were written without any real purpose or direction. It deflected from the story as a whole and would have enjoyed it more with more direct and simple language.
“There are things you know, things you think you remember, and things you try to forget. And of course, there is all that lies In Between.”
Since she was young, Amy has suffered from Alice in Wonderland Syndrome—it warps her perception of reality and time, causing her to see things that aren’t really there. For Amy, however, AIWS also lets her peer into the world between the living and the dead—the In Between. And the In Between has plagued her with horrifying visions for decades, especially the vision of a lost little girl—and the nebulous, shadowy Dark Man.
Amy, now an adult and ready to start her own family, returns to her childhood home to confront her widowed father and finally get some answers—what really happened here, and why can’t she shake these visions?
But her father refuses to give her answers, and Amy finds herself continually shifting to the In Between, where time has no meaning, reality constantly twists—and the Dark Man grows stronger.
To save herself, escape the Dark Man, and rescue a child who may not even exist, Amy must fight against the In Between to finally learn the truth—no matter the cost.
Well, what can I say about myself? I’m a 33-year-old married woman and mum to 3 crazy boys, aged 13,6 and 4. My eldest has a genetic condition that causes a visual impairment so as you can imagine life can be very chaotic and provides many challenges along the way but I would 100% never change any of them. They fulfil my life beyond measure.
I adore books – I adore shouting about books! I’m a reviewer of mainly horror and dark fantasy. Whether that’s featuring werewolves, evil creatures or the depravity of humanity, I will read them all.
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