Review: The House in the Pines - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Armed with only hazy memories, a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers, deep in the woods, is hardly to be believed….

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.

Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.

At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin….

Utterly unique and captivating, The House in the Pines keeps you guessing about whether we can ever fully confront the past and return home.

Book Type:

Psychological Thriller

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Review: The House in the Pines
By Ana Reyes

Review: The House in the Pines

A girl returns home in search of answers to a past trauma, in Ana Reyes debut thriller, THE HOUSE IN THE PINES.

We meet Maya, who struggles to kick a drug habit that started seven years prior when her best friend, Aubrey, died unexpectedly, dropping dead while in conversation with her then boyfriend, Frank.

Maya has spiraled in the aftermath of the trauma, unable to both forget and remember exactly what happened. Haziness and lost time shape memories past, but when she sees a video of yet another girl inexplicably dying across a diner table from Frank, she’s convinced there’s a connection.

Chapters alternate between past and present, as we learn more about enigmatic Frank, about their relationship, and about a small cabin in the woods which may hold the secrets she’s desperate to unearth.

THE HOUSE IN THE PINES is wonderfully atmospheric with a captivating premise. An unreliable narrator (Maya) ratchets curiosity for what transpired, propelling me to flip furiously through the last set of pages. The start, however, felt a bit slow, with the narrative culminating in an ending that although surprising and inventive, perhaps could have packed a stronger punch. Nonetheless, this was an impressive debut teeming with tension, misdirection, and menace, and I look forward to reading more from Ana Reyes.

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