Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Cackle by Rachel Harrison | Book Review

Today Alex recommends CACKLE by Rachel Harrison. Have you read Cackle yet?

Cackle by Rachel Harrison

"All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation.

Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem…a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power…but she couldn’t be…could she?”

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Alex's Review

CACKLE by Rachel Harrison totally took me by surprise. I honestly had no idea what to expect before reading this so that statement also might not make a lot of sense to anyone who isn't me or who isn't actively reading all of my thoughts. But it's true. This is the story of Annie, a woman on her way to start a new life in a new town after recently breaking up with her love and best friend of 10 years that checked off all the boxes for me. And then she meets a peculiar woman named Sophie. At first I was cringing because Sophie is such a free-spirited and busy person and it seems that Annie was a little like me: introvertive. I was getting some social anxiety from all the attention Sophie was giving her and all the activities she kept inviting her to do. But after a while, the friendship of these two women became so wildly addictive to read.

And then there's Ralph... oh, I am definitely not a spider person but I would love this little spider friend in my life! I can just picture him and my cat all snuggled up on the couch while I am reading some scary book or watching a slasher horror movie. Ralph has tons of personality and I will die for him. I wish I could see him in his little party hat blowing that little party horn.

I digress. Annie is on this full world tour of self-reflection and self-discovery, learning what it means to love yourself and be on your own with who you are. She learns what it means to set boundaries. She gets a handle on how to make life her own and not be victim to anyone else or any others' expectations. I loved it from beginning to end!

Rachel Harrison has a way of writing that makes it hard for you to stop reading. It's cozy and quirky and spooky fun all at once. Cackle is such a treat and I want to talk about it, Sophie, and Ralph with everyone while we drink all the wine in the middle of the woods together.

Thank you for joining us today! Please share your thoughts about CACKLE as well as any recent reads in the comments below.

We are currently accepting horror fiction and horror adjacent fiction written by diverse authors in print and epub format ONLY. If this is you, please visit our review submission page here.

Alex is a Horror Spotlight contributing reviewer. You can find Alex on Goodreads, on Twitter as @finding_montauk and on Instagram as @findingmontauk1.

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