Any horror readers in the house?? Today’s review is for you! With the current pandemic we’re facing, going out and socialising is not an option. So I’m not really testing new makeup, or even old makeup at this stage, to post about. What I am planning to do with all my down time though, is READ! So book reviews may be a bit more frequent around these parts for a while. I’ve received so many exciting books recently, and I am really hoping on that pile, is my next 5 star read! Today I’m reviewing The Return, by Rachel Harrison….. and boy, did this one catch me by surprise.
What is The Return about?
An edgy and haunting debut novel about a group of friends who reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance.
Julie is missing, and the missing don’t often return. But Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and she feels in her bones that her best friend is out there, and that one day she’ll come back. She’s right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she’s been or what happened to her.
Characters and Storyline
The synopsis is short and sweet. Julie went missing for 2 years and then she returns. Her friends then decide that they need to plan a trip away to reconnect and that is where Elise starts to notice that Julie doesn’t really seem like the ‘ol Julie they knew 2yrs ago. Julie is skinny, not a vegetarian anymore and she smells bad! No cause for concern right?
The story centers mostly around the 4 ladies in the friendship circle at this hotel and we learn more about their history and their friendship.
I don’t know what I was expecting when I started reading this book. It is a horror/supernatural sort of book….and I think that was abundantly clear to everybody except me. So I was surprised as everything started to take shape. Silly Simone!
What I loved about this book was the larger font, the spaced paragraphs and the ease of the language. I could read without having to think about it much… This was always going to be an easy, quick read.
There is a scene pretty early on that is quite disturbing and then Elise just goes back to her room and goes to sleep. I sat there, mind boggled… like, did I just dream that scene up? Why is she not running for the hills????? The writer made me wonder if I was imagining things, so I’d have to go back and reread it again. I am trying to decide if this was frustrating ( Elise’s stupidity) or clever writing.
The scene for the book though, this hotel is a train wreck with a really creepy atmosphere from the get go. I didn’t understand the setting and the design, when it’s apparent that the person that chose it for them, is one that lives a lavish and luxurious life. This was supposed to be a luxury escape and this place just screams CREEPY!
I really felt for Elise’s feelings w.r.t her ‘class’ compared to her friends. It was something that I think is so relevant in 2020 and gave me food for thought. This is completely outside of the scope of what this book was actually about, but I like a book that touches on social issues.
The ending felt a bit rushed…. everything happened really fast! I wish the author addressed more of the unspoken, but I don’t want to say too much, because I don’t want to spoil the book.
The Return has a Goodreads rating of around 3.6 stars out of 5. Because I’m not well versed in horrors, I’m going to stay neutral and rate this one at a solid 3 stars. I enjoyed the easy read that it was, and I was scared! My assumption is that this is the intention of a horror novelist…right? I was so glad that I opted to read this during the day….because I would not have been able to sleep if I read it at night. lol. If you’re a horror fan, looking for a quick read, you may enjoy this one. I also enjoyed that this was outside of my usual genre, and it felt like a bit of a palette cleanser between my current book and the one beforeThe Return.