There are so many flavours of fear, so much to be afraid of, and as crippling as terror can be, it is also the heart and soul of some great page-turners. Join us for a taste of three thrilling tales that explore how fear motivates us and for a conversation hosted by artsfile.ca founder Peter Robb on how horror on the page can lead to so much fun for a reader.
by Jessica Westhead explores a mother’s all-consuming worry for her child over forty-eight hours at a remote cottage with old friends and a mysterious neighbour. Ruth is the fiercely protective mother of almost-four-year-old Fern. Together they visit a remote family cottage belonging to her best friend. Stef is everything Ruth is not—confident, loud, carefree. While Fern runs wild with Stef’s older twins and dockside drinks flow freely among the adults, they’re joined by Stef’s neighbour Marvin, a man whose frantic pursuit of fun is only matched by his side comments about his absent wife. As day moves into night and darkness settles over the woods, the edges between these friends and a stranger sharpen until a lingering suspicion becomes an undeniable threat.
Bestseller Nathan Ripley follows up the success of Find You in the Dark with another suspenseful page-turner,
Your Life Is Mine,
this time about a woman whose notorious father died when she was a child, but whose legacy comes back to haunt her. Blanche, an up-and-coming filmmaker, has distanced herself in every way she can from her father, the notorious killer and cult leader Chuck Varner. In 1996, when she was a small child, he went on a shooting spree before turning the gun on himself. Now, Blanche learns that her mother has been murdered, and she soon discovers there’s more to the death than police are willing to reveal. Blanche begins to suspect that her father’s cult has found a new life. Then another killing occurs.
Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author Lynn Coady delivers
Watching You Without Me,
a novel about complex relationships and who and how to trust. After her mother’s sudden death, Karen finds herself back in her childhood home in Nova Scotia for the first time in a decade, acting as full-time caregiver to Kelli, her older sister. Overwhelmed with grief and the daily needs of Kelli, who was born with a developmental disability, Karen gratefully accepts Trevor’s somewhat overbearing friendship. But as he slowly insinuates himself into Karen and Kelli’s lives, Karen starts to grasp the true aspect of his relationship with her mother—and to experience for herself the suffocating nature of Trevor’s “care.”
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