A young couple purchases an historic home in rural Connecticut near the University where the husband has just joined the faculty. He is obsessed with his research on multiple personality disorders while she is focused on restoration and the history of their home. They have just begun to settle in when several seemingly inexplicable occurrences change their dream into a nightmare.
Beginning with the grisly death of their pet cat and the discovery of a child’s tombstone in the backyard, the wife explores a cascade of mysteries. She seeks assistance from an elderly neighbor, an antique dealer, and the local church that has its origins tied to the town. From the church she receives a diary begun in the early 1800s which leads her to incredible and sometimes horrifying discoveries. The local woman also knows of deaths and curses inflicted upon her house due to the misdeeds of the original owner.
Our protagonist explores graveyards and archaic records in an attempt to answer many questions. Some of the issues are long hidden lies told two hundred years before to protect the sins of a clergyman, while others are contemporary, involving the mental illness of a neighbor who remains at large in the area. At times it appears that the husband may be “gas lighting” his wife and could himself have a multiple personality disorder. At other times it appears that the husband’s graduate assistant may be out to do the couple harm.
There is always an undercurrent of the supernatural at work in this home, and a hatching of Goliath Bird Eating Spiders in the cellar, while the near death of a workman, helps to build this possibility. Between fires and the delusional thinking of a man living hidden on the property, this book is a page turner that will either keep you up late at night reading or worrying about what will happen next.
The story ends as the pandemic is unfolding.