Mary, An Awakening of Terror - Nat Cassidy

Pros: very interesting premise, a slightly unreliable narrator, gruesome

Cons: very, very slow

TW: Animal death, Gore, Blood, Sexual violence, Animal cruelty, Body horror, Homophobia, Racism, Vomit


I got early access to this book and was so excited to dig in and then... my grandpa went into the hospital. Life, right? I ended up being right on time with it which to me felt like being late however, better late than never... isn't that the saying?

This is the story of a perimenopausal woman named Mary who is living in NYC and somewhat suffering from hallucinations anytime she looks in the mirror or into the face of women her age. She finds sollace in covering her mirrors, keeping to herself and collecting her glass figurines which she calls her "loved ones." That is... until her crotchety aunt calls to ask her to come take care of her as she slowly dies from whatever ails her. She then goes back to her hometown that she hates to care for a relative she also hates and things in the town (and with Mary) start to get extra strange.

This book was intense but slow. That was the biggest issue I had with it. It just dragged on and on and on. It turned out to be something I was ok with because the story was very well done, everything came together nicely, etc. but holy shit, reading this felt like trying to run in waist deep water. I am glad I stuck it out ultimately because I think this was such a unique concept for a horror novel and also, a nice change of pace to see a main character be something other than college age/early 20's.

It is pretty gory and gruesome at times, especially the animal death. That isn't something that usually bothers me but since Hannah cannot do animal cruelty/death, I have a heightened awareness of it now. With that in mind, the animal death was pretty brutal and the imagery throughout the entire story was just as intense.

I loved it but please look out for the triggers and beware of the slow pace.


Also, please enjoy my GoodReads review and follow me there if you'd like! This review is a great summary of all the things I plan to discuss at length below.



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