Friday, September 02, 2016

Daughters Unto Devils, by Amy Lukavics

Finding herself pregnant, Amanda is terrified that she will be cast out of her family.  The boy who got her this way has fled and her religious family is certain to condemn her as a whore.  But events overtake them.  Her father announces that, after the hardship of the previous winter, he has been convinced that they should move from their small cabin in the mountains out unto the prairie where he has heard there are good homes left empty and ready to occupy.  With great hardship, the family sets out and does indeed find a great abandoned homestead that they move into.

But all is not well.  The interior of the house is covered in blood and it is obvious that something truly horrible happened there.  Their neighbors are cagey in their explanations.  Soon, strange things start to occur.  Amanda hears voices and sees ghosts.  Soon, the madness and horrors spread to other members of the family.

It's a curious combination of historical fiction and horror (one reviewer called it "Stephen King writing Little House on the Prairie").  I was more drawn to the former more than the latter, and I wonder what talents Lukavics might have in writing a novel about life on the prairie.  She has fine details and enjoys expounding on them.  The horror elements were more cursory and less developed and the ending seemed rushed and sketchy.

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