The Loney, by Andrew Michael Hurley

6 May
The Loney andrew michael hurley

Four strong out of Five stars

VERY difficult for me to review this one.
I was shocked when I arrived at the final page, as it seemed like we’d just been faced with a whole new batch of questions that hadn’t been answered, to be added to all the previous unanswered questions. However the book is so exquisitely written, it is impossible to give it less than 4 stars.

In a nutshell it’s about the narrator and his brother, and the religious pilgrimage their mother brings them on in hopes of curing Andrew’s mutism. It’s definitely a work of literature, and if I had read this in college I would have been all over Esther Smith, the hyper-religious mother. Intriguing symbolism, religious and otherwise, is rampant throughout the book. I think a reader probably needs a very slow and careful reading, if not multiple readings, in order to get everything out of the experience.

It is dark and creepy, with terrifying moments that never come to anything. I loved reading the book, even though I kept waiting for something to happen. It is very carefully written so as the whole experience of reading it is just being on the edge of your seat, waiting for the bogeyman to pop out from behind a tree. You are convinced, at every point in the book, that this is when The Horrible Thing is going to happen.

Does it ever happen? You’ll have to read it and see. Obviously there are a lot of questions left when it’s over, but that appears to be the point. What exactly did happen? One reader may believe one thing, another reader might believe something different. It’s less about unanswered questions than it is about interpretation and beliefs.

I almost wish I had read this in college, so I’d be forced to take the time to pick apart this book and the characters and really delve deep into the symbolism. Yes, at the last page I was pretty mad at the book, but in the end it’s really a piece of art.

Many thanks to NetGalley for the early copy in exchange for an honest review. I struggle between 4 and 5 stars, but there were questions left about the narrator that I am too upset about not being answered.

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