Rookfield: Gordon B. White
Reviewed By Yvonne Miller
Rookfield is a story set during a global pandemic, sounds familiar right? The author is so eloquent in his portrayal of life in a pandemic. Be prepared to walk a tightrope of emotions. The protagonist is a character that leaves you questioning his motives. On one hand, you can get on board with his thought processes behind tracking down his wife and son. The world is in chaos, and he needs the familiar to ground him. On the other hand, he is full of self-entitled privilege that makes him a major turn off. There’s no come and go with him, no middle ground.
Cabot escapes the city looking for his son and estranged wife and makes his way to Rookfield. It’s a strange little town that instantly has your nerves on edge. Pandemic masks are everywhere and soon you get a feeling that things between Cabot and his estranged wife, Leana aren’t exactly on close terms. It’s a stressful time existing through-out a pandemic, let alone trying to navigate the difficult roads that parenting lead us down. They don’t seem to agree on how they should bring up their son during these difficult times and there is obvious friction between them.
I loved the feel of this novel, there is a dark edge, a sinister undercurrent. Be prepared to look over your shoulder in fear of your skull being caved in by an unknown assailant. The characterisation of the narrator is well crafted and with enough space to grow and become a fully-fledged person with flaws and strengths, even in a novella. The heightened narrative doesn’t allow the tension to let up and you find yourself scrambling to put the clues together and come up with a plausible answer.
The story was brutal and raw. Examining the why’s left my head aching. I wouldn’t completely say that Cabot is an unreliable narrator, but you must witness his experiences and decide if his rose-tinted spectacles need a dusting. The residents of Rookfield are found to be taking the pandemic very seriously (and why not?) BUT something is just off from the get-go. Cabot rides into the town with his Maserati and his narcissistic bullshit and they are more than a little wary of him. I don’t want to spoil anything so pick this one up, it’s brilliant.
When Cabot Howard’s ex-wife, Leana, flees the pandemic with their son Porter to the backwoods town of Rookfield, Cabot sets off after them. Once he arrives, however, he finds Leana is in hiding, her family won’t hand Porter over, and the townsfolk are deadly serious about always wearing masks. The town’s children dress like little plague doctors and the adults are hellbent on getting Cabot out by nightfall.
Despite being alone and under attack, Cabot won’t leave without his son. Nothing-not ex-in-laws, not the sheriff, not even whatever monstrosity might be lurking in the woods just behind the barn-will stop Cabot from getting them out of … Rookfield.
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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