Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Come Closer by Sara Gran

Amanda is a newly wed, a new homeowner, and a successful architect. Her happy life is just beginning. The trouble starts as a recurrent, annoying noise. An unexplained knocking in her house. Amanda doesn't know what to make of it and tries to ignore it. But it persists and gets worse along with new inner voice encouraging her to hurt those around her and cheat on her husband. A book she finds suggests she is possessed, but that's impossible so she goes on as she loses more and more time.

Come Closer got under my skin. I don't usually like demonic possession stories because of the overt reliance on flawed religions (specifically Catholicism). However, Sara Gran approaches it in a different way. We follow Amanda's point of view as she slowly, almost imperceptibly changes. These changes, like the unexplained and infuriating knocking in her home and sudden, odd mood swings, are explained away one way or another and adapted to as she loses pieces of herself little by little. She becomes casually cruel and violent, starting with the impulsive split decision to burn her husband with a cigarette and escalating far beyond. It's an absolutely chilling portrayal of losing oneself and I loved it. 

Amanda has some moments of fighting the possession, even ordering a book she doesn't remember about recognizing the signs of demonic possession. I love the literal checklist of symptoms and Amanda's attempts to thwart the possession. However, complacency and perceived normalcy win out. It's a compelling psychological portrayal for anyone ignoring a major problem in their life and how it's more comfortable to ignore it, explain it away, and keep going as normal.

The story moves quickly and we get just enough of a glimpse into this world. The novella length makes it easy to read in one or two sittings and the story grabs hold in the first chapter and doesn't let go. As with many stories like this, there's the question of mental illness or demonic possession, but it seems to land squarely in one camp by the end in my book. The ending is disjointed, distant, and perfect. Come Closer had been on my reading list for years and I'm so happy I bought by chance in a bookstore. (Thank you Barnes and Noble horror section.) It was truly the perfect Halloween read. 

My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins

1 comment:

-blessed b9, Catalyst4Christ said...

No thx, girl.
I prefer to have as lil horizontal
contact as I can when awaiting my
Rapture. Follow us Upstairs, T.
GBY x-tra.