The House Next Door - Anne Rivers Siddons 2.5 stars

I struggled a bit rating this one. Sometimes it was 2 stars, sometimes 3 stars and then sometimes it fell in between. I don’t think there was a point where I didn’t like it, but the narrator, Colquitt, and even some of the neighbors got on my nerves plenty of times. Colquitt, for the most part, sounded so pretentious that I wanted to slap her. I believe the author wanted to make her and Walter relatable characters, but instead they came off as upper middle class snobs with their gin and tonics, tennis club and beach cottage. I don’t care if the island the beach cottage is on is a bit “run down” per Colquitt’s standards. Her perspective was so skewed that “run down” can very well mean there was a candy wrapper in the sand the last time she went.

Anyway, because the story is narrated through Colquitt’s perspective I skimmed some of her more “introspective” parts. I just didn’t give a shit what feelings or inklings Colquitt was receiving or how she and Walter had to make love in order for her “to feel herself” again. I found these parts annoying. I don’t read much horror, but when I do I secretly want to be creeped the fuck out to make it worth my while. This book just didn’t do it for me. Partly it was because of Colquitt, but also it was the way it was written and the times this was written (1970’s). Some of the conversations and Colquitt’s thoughts felt rather dated.

In the beginning the story did have plenty of promise. There were some creepy events that raised my hair a little and made me glad I was reading this during the day. But, after these initial events the foreshadowing became too heavy and when the next scary event happened it wasn’t as shocking as the author meant it to be. At least, not shocking in a scary way, but it was shocking in a “oh shit, didn’t see that one coming” kind of way. The ending was a bit of a surprise and it succeeded in making me think more deeply about the house’s supernatural element. Overall, this was an okay read.