Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Drowned Sorrow

"Except for the few shops that had tried futilely to keep up, the village appeared as if it had been frozen in time. A large stone fountain graced what Megan loosely termed a town square, and around it sat four wooden benches. Though a gentle rain still fell, the few people she saw moving around it did so without umbrellas, as unmindful of the rain as if they walked in bright sunshine. They seemed extremely pale and moved at a slower pace than she was accustomed to seeing, but she only shook her head and grinned at whoever was looking in her general direction."
~Drowned Sorrow, Vanessa Morgan

When author Vanessa Morgan emailed me about reviewing her work, her novella, Drowned Sorrow, a supernatural thriller, captured my interest. Vanessa is also the author of The Strangers Outside (released in September 2010), a Kindle short story that's being made into a movie, filmed in Belgium.

Published in 2008, Drowned Sorrow is the story of a reporter, Megan Blackwood, who is anguished over the death of her 18-year-old son, Josh. Saddled with deep sorrow and guilt, Megan leaves her job, her marriage dissolves, and she decides to take a trip to a tiny, remote village called Moonlight Creek with her 14-year-old daughter, Jenna, and their dog, Oscar, in an attempt to reconnect with her daughter and begin healing. Although it was recommended to them by a friend, Moonlight Creek turns out to be a strange and ominous place, which always smells like mildew. Residents seem to possess an odd connection to the dark and sinister lake, the town's centerpiece. There is something supernatural about the lake that affects everyone in the village. For Meagan and Jenna, things go from bad to worse over the course of a few days stay at Nigel Matthew's damp, shabby hotel in Moonlight Creek.

After reading only a few pages of Drowned Sorrow, I was immersed in the story. Both the setting and the characters are well-crafted. Wonderful, creepy details abound, such as walls and ceilings that leak water around the corners and edges, and a grocery store that only sells water, which add to the menacing atmosphere. I can imagine this as a movie, with the eerie, icy cold lake that seems to have a mind of its own, the pallid, expressionless villagers, and the constant, dreary rain, dampness, and puddles. As I huddled with Drowned Sorrow and a cup of tea on my reading couch, the weather outside conspired with the book and it rained as I read (an unusual event for Southern CA at this time of the year). I was shocked not only by the chilling contents but by how great I thought this book was. It's everything horror fiction should be: creepy, scary, suspenseful, and yet also touching.

I thought this was a great read! Vanessa Morgan is a very talented screenwriter and novelist. Drowned Sorrow will be made into a movie, directed by Drew Barrymore. I can see this as the next The Shining, and will rush out to see the movie, even if Vanessa reneges on her promise to use me as an extra. ;)


  1. Wow, if the book is half as good as that cover, it's great! The cover is creepy!

  2. Can't believe it, you had a perfect setting for the perfect book!
    I should read this before the movie comes out!

  3. Wow, sounds absolutely creepy!! I most definitely would love to read it too. Great review, Suko :)

  4. This sounds like a book both my husband and I would enjoy. As I was reading your review, I thought it would make a great movie. I'm looking forward to its release.

  5. Oh wow! This does indeed sound really creepy and interesting, and some of the details that you mention really pique my interest. A grocery store that only sells water, and the pervasive smell of mildew? Weird and wild, and all those thing s coupled with the little excerpt that you posted on top make me really want to give this book a try. It goes to the top on my list!

  6. Oh fabulous. Definitely a book that I would read. I shall add to my TBR. I love books like this.

  7. This has a really creepy and interesting premise. I'm pretty into the creepy stuff right now, and I like the overall setting for the book, too. Will have to check this one out.

  8. Those leaking corners are creepy for sure. But I had to smile, because this book sounds like the dark twin of my work, where there's not too much water, but never enough!

  9. This sounds wonderful! Right up my alley.
    Very cool that it's going to be made into a film.
    Great review ;)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. This does seem like great movie material; thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  11. This opening sentence reminded me of so many little Irish villages we visited. Thanks for recommending what sounds like a great read.

  12. This sounds like something I'd like. Great review!

  13. The cover is sort of sending chills down my back. I am not much for supernatural thrillers but this one seems intriguing!

  14. Thanks for all of your comments. Please stay tuned for an interview with Vanessa Morgan.

  15. Yikes, this sounds creepy but good!!! Great review :)


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