When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.
When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.
This book was so good, so simple, creepy and dark. Now I wish I had bought it instead of just getting it from the library. I have a book test where I flip to page 69 and read, if it draws me in I buy it, if not I see if the library has it or I wait. There was so much talk about what a sinner the MC was that I wrinkled my nose and put it back on the shelf..... BUT I SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN IT. Because the MC talking about what a sinner she is and the devil and how she is going to be punished was all part of a fascinating plot where you are never quite sure whether there is a devil living in the MC or she was just made mentally disturbed by severe isolation.
This book was simple, there was a decent cast of characters, all lovingly written but basic ( and they needed to be), a plain backdrop of a mountain and a prairie (though written in a beautifully sinister way) and a plot that had a few twists and turns but was steady. All these things set up a novel that was VERY successful.
This got 4.5 instead of 5 because there is a miscarriage scene that is VERY unbelievable, especially as a woman who has had several. A miscarriage at two or three months along doesn't leave your body in one big gush of stinky fluid with some mild cramping for an afternoon with NO WARNING. It is cramps off and on for a few days with maybe some spotting, then intense painful cramp like contractions where you bleed a lot, followed by bleeding and cramping for about another week. However if you don't care about this bit of inaccuracy then round it up to five lol.
I highly recommend this, especially for an October Halloween read.