They Drown Our Daughters by Katrina Monroe is a paranormal horror worth reading. Meredith returns to Cape Disappointment but isn’t prepared for the curse that haunts her family.
All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.
They say Cape Disappointment is haunted. That’s why tourists used to flock there in droves. They’d visit the rocky shoreline under the old lighthouse’s watchful eye and fish shells from the water as they pretended to spot dark shapes in the surf. Now the tourists are long gone, and when Meredith Strand and her young daughter return to Meredith’s childhood home after an acrimonious split from her wife, the Cape seems more haunted by regret than any malevolent force.
But her mother, suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s, is convinced the ghost stories are real. Not only is there something in the water, but it’s watching them. Waiting for them. Reaching out to Meredith’s daughter the way it has to every woman in their line for generations-and if Meredith isn’t careful, all three women, bound by blood and heartbreak, will be lost one by one to the ocean’s mournful call.
Characters: 6 | Atmosphere: 9 | Writing: 7 | Plot: 9 | Intrigue: 9 | Logic: 9 | Enjoyment: 9
“They weren’t cursed. They were mentally ill. Afraid. Angry.”
They Drown Our Daughters was an incredibly well-done combination of paranormal horror and contemporary concepts. I’ll admit, I had my concerns when the summary implied the ghosts may not be ghosts, but maybe their own grief. This is a large pet peeve of mine when it comes to horror books with contemporary undertones. Instead, this book is about a curse that inherently ties into the grief, and the traumas of motherhood- both as a mother and as a child.
“One way or another, she thought, this ends with me.”
This book mixed frightening concepts of drowning and losing your child with contemporary concepts in a way that felt new to me. Without spoiling the story, the book handled itself well. Each generation has its own traumas, wanting and needing something else. And despite the differences, the curse remained. The ending was heartwarming, and I found myself rooting for the women to succeed in their cause.
“You can’t help what you are or where you came from or what it means. All you can do is minimized the damage.”
While I found the characters sometimes too alike to tell apart (which makes some sense, they are family), overall this ghost story had me on the edge of my seat. I was excited to see what would happen with Meredith and Alice and was invested in the way this curse took place. Well written and intriguing, I recommend this highly to anyone who wants a spooky ghost story with some mother wounds to top it off.
“It’s about the mothers. The curse wasn’t about revenge.”
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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