Last November I read and reviewed The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltserman. A very good novel that, while billed as a horror novel, did not read that way to me. Instead, I saw the book as a mystery with a horror component. Dave’s book continues to do very well and seems to be one of those books that seem to resonate differently with every reader. That led me to think about what other books seemed to do that same trick for readers.
That led me to my selection for today which mark the first Friday’s Forgotten Books selection for the New Year. As always, you can read the complete list as it is compiled at Patti Abbotts wonderful blog found at http://pattinase.blogspot.com/ Without further ado, I give you my review originally written in 2006 for “A Dream Of Drowned Hollow” written by Lee Barwood.
For college student April Rue Stoner, life is becoming increasingly complex and it isn’t just college. Something is happening to her and she doesn’t understand it. She seems to sense and see things in the Ozark countryside in ways that others do not. The trees seem to actually “talk” to her and her abilities don’t stop there. What she sees makes her question her own sanity until she discovers that she can photograph what she alone sees and show others.
By doing so, she can visually prove what she has seen to have happened in the past or what will happen in the future. In this case, her photographs don’t lie and she can use them to show others that she is not mad. While she is able to see her long deceased mother at a nearby pond which brings her tremendous joy there is a flip side to her powers. She can see dark forces at work and she can see a possible nightmarish future where the land is destroyed and friends and family are dead. All done because of a greedy, developer determined to wreak havoc on the environment.
In this 532 page novel which won the “Andre Norton’s Gryphon Award” April Stoner seeks to save the land and all that it contains from a horrible fate. The land and its creatures are magical and so too is the author’s obvious love for the Ozark region. It is rare to read a novel that so powerfully captures the beauty of a region and the need to practice conservation and proper stewardship of the land. In a novel that gradually moves forward as months and years pass, the author weaves a spellbinding tale that entertains while reminding readers that once the magic is gone, it is gone forever. Destruction in the name of progress is never a good thing and sometimes the magic in the land fights back.
A Dream of Drowned Hollow
By Lee Barwood
Double Dragon Publishing
Large Trade Paperback
Material supplied by the author at the time in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2006, 2011