(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 2/24/2013)
How far would you go to attack those you resent? Does your past define your future? Is the pain you receive an excuse for terrible deeds?
Charla, Alexander Beresford's first novel, takes these questions, asks them, and answers them in revoltingly, disturbingly fun fashion.
Charla is a woman deranged. Sure, she may seem sane, but her broken past, her shattered marriage, and her resentment of the perfect, easy life that her daughter Amelie dances through have corrupted her to the core. She HATES her daughter for the goodness life has shown her. After Charla's marriage is broken and over, she decides that since she has nothing to lose, she will follow the one path her twisted heart leads -- the torturous suffering of her daughter and the destruction of the life that Amelie holds dear. She does something drastic -- she calls forth a creature of the depths of evil and sets it loose on Amelie's world.
Beresford has crafted an interesting tale of betrayal and lust. It plays on the simplest of fears -- that thing you see out of the corner of your eye, that thing lurking in the shadows, that howling more-than-wind, that thing your pet freaks out to when there's nothing visibly there, that presence that invades your space but doesn't reveal itself fully.
Aside from a few grammatical errors and a run-on or two, the writing and pacing are in good form.
I very much enjoyed Beresford's tale. My only complaint is the ending, as it leaves much to the imagination (which I also really like! open-ended!) and the random and unnecessary mention of demon sperm in a drink at one point in the story. I thought maybe it would have an importance later in the book, but it didn't. It felt put in for the sake of something gross, and wasn't needed.
I would like to thank Mr. Beresford not only for the intriguing and enjoyable read, but for gifting me the copy for an honest review.
I look forward to seeing him write another creepy tale.
Want a copy? Check it out at Amazon: Charla.