Heya all my readers! Hope everyone is staying warm that’s dealing with all this snow over the past couple of weeks.
Today I have a memoir that hits a little too close to home, and a gothic haunted house story.
Once You Go In – Carly Gelsinger
When teenager Carly steps into Pine Canyon Assemblies of God for the first time she has no way of knowing that her life is about to be consumed. Wanting to fit in and thinking that the leadership could lead her closer to Jesus, Carly slowly changes herself to their image of perfection.
A majority of the memoirs and non-fiction usually focuses on experiences or subject matter that is outside my bubble of experience. This time is different, and this makes it very difficult for me to be objective with Once You Go In because so many of Carly’s experiences were also my own. Especially with the evangelical’s obsession with purity culture and how it continues to demean and undermine women.
I honestly don’t know if those who haven’t experienced Christian fundamentalism would find this memoir compelling or not. Most of the book is about the small steps of control that are used to manipulate people. Break them down. Because high-control groups (aka cults) are about control and power. If you have no clue what I’m talking about this might be a good first step.
The Woman in Black – Susan Hill
On a cold Christmas Eve night, Arthur is brought back to the past when his wife and children start sharing ghost stories around the fire. Ready to be released from this dreadful horror he experienced two decades prior, Arthur writes down his encounter with the woman in black.
This would be a great book if you wanted an introduction to gothic storytelling and want to know if you would enjoy the vibe. The story overall was strong and had a lot of the classic tropes that come with the subgenre. The atmosphere is crucial in gothic storytelling and I think Hill does a fantastic job.
For someone who’s read a fair share of gothic stories the novel was solid, I just wish that there was more meat. Just as I was getting invested the crux of Arthur’s story was pretty much done. I do think it was smart to have an older Arthur reflecting on how this encounter changed his life, especially with the ending being so devastating. Oh yeah, wasn’t prepared for that.