Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone
by Stefan Kiesbye
Publication date: September 25, 2012
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
The village of Hemmersmoor is a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition: There is the grand manor house whose occupants despise the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. This is where four young friends come of age—in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. Their innocent games soon bring them face-toface with the village’s darkest secrets in this eerily dispassionate, astonishingly assured novel, evocative of Stephen King’s classic short story “Children of the Corn” and infused with the spirit of the Brothers Grimm.
When I was younger I read two short stories that gave me the chills. I still remember them as if it were yesterday. They were Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl and The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. (click on the links to read them..eep) Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone reminded me of those dark tales. The book takes us to the superstitious and creepy town of Hemmersmoor, Germany. Four young friends share dark tales from their own childhood. This was spine-chilling and the perfect read for fall.
The tale is told from the points of view of four children who grew up in this remote village. They are Christian, Anke, Martin and Linde. While the book reads like a collection of short stories the author ties them beautifully together from Christian’s POV. Christen has returned home after a death in the family. While there he revisits his youth. I wasn’t so much scared by the tales as totally freaked out, repulsed and fearful of the unknown. Told in a matter-of-fact tone each tale made me shiver. The stories overlap in time frame and that added to the tale. Kiesbye makes the accounts seem eerily real and I had to remind myself this is fiction.
From the ominous Kamphoff manor, to the family that mysteriously disappears and the child who kills; these tales will definitely give you the chills. The author cleverly revealed bits and pieces and set bait to keep you on edge. Is this town cursed? Are the people possessed? Is something in the water? The thrill in these tales lie in how close they come to reality and the way in which the author shares them with you. The synopsis refers to the Brothers Grim and this town definitely gives off similar vibes. *shivers* It reminded me of those old Hitchcock episodes I watched as a kid.
I enjoyed this strange little book and if you like creepy tales, then Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone is for you. I was at B&N and happen to see this on display and picked it up. I love the little creepy girl on the cover and as I picked it up *squeee* Be sure and check out the book cover -turn the image ever so slightly and eeeeeeeee! Brilliant, just brilliant!
I gave this novel 3.5 coffee cups out of 5.
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