Cauchemar by Alexandra Grigorescu [Review]

22750291Title: Cauchemar
Author: Alexandra Grigorescu
Type: Fiction
Genre: Adult, Southern Gothic, Horror, Paranormal
Publisher: ECW Press
Date published: March 17, 2015
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 316
Source: Publisher

A physical copy of the book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Summary: Gripping, fast-paced, gorgeously written, and with unforgettable characters, Cauchemar tells the story of 20-year-old Hannah, who finds herself living alone on the edge of a Louisianan swamp after her adopted mother and protector dies. Hannah falls in love with Callum, an easy-going boat captain and part-time musician, but after her mysterious birth mother, outcast as a witch and rumoured to commune with the dead, comes back into Hannah’s life, she must confront what she’s been hiding from — the deadly spirits that haunt the swamp, the dark secrets of her past, and the nascent gift she possesses.

Like the nightmares that plague Hannah, Cauchemar lingers and haunts.

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The moment I read the opening line of this book’s description (“An eerie and romantic Southern gothic drama”) I knew that I had to read this book . I have always been fascinated by the American South, and especially in and around New Orleans. A particular aspect of the South which I am most intrigued by is the dark magic and superstition surrounding many of the stories about it.

I also really enjoy romance, and gothic narratives, so I expected this book to be a fantastic mixture of some of my favourite things. And in a way, it was.

It definitely featured that Southern gothic atmosphere which I enjoy, and there was a very good dose of creepy as well. I was actually unable to read some parts of this book once the sun had set, because not only was some of the imagery frightening and disturbing, but it was described so effectively, that at times I thought I was seeing things out of the corner of my eye.

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The majority of this novel is “gorgeously written,” as the description says, and I did enjoy it from the perspective of a lover of the English language. Some portions, however, fell short; such as some of (if not most of) the sex scenes. The pacing and temporal formatting of this book also fell a little short for me, in that it left me confused and frustrated at times, rather than intrigued.

Overall, I think that this book could have been more satisfying for me if the pacing and character development had been handled differently. Otherwise, I did enjoy the the descriptions of the setting, the food, the music, as well as the writing as a whole. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy Southern gothic, romance, and a dose of horror.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

8394075Alexandra Grigorescu is the author of Cauchemar (ECW Press, 2015). She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. She’s worked as a freelance writer/editor for various Toronto magazines and sites, including blogTO.

Her writing has previously been published in Echolocation, Acta Victoriana, and the Hart House Review. She lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband and a little black cat.

You can visit her on Twitter at @a_grigorescu as well as her Goodreads page here!


PURCHASE LINKS:

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THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOWCOME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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