The Thirteen by Susie Moloney is about suburbia, family, deception, and witches. I usually find all of these topics to be of great interest when reading a novel, so I dove right in. How did I like it? Well, read on to find out…
“Haven Woods is suburban heaven, a great place to raise a family. It's close to the city, quiet, with great schools and its own hospital right up the road. Property values are climbing, and the crime rate is practically nonexistent.
Paula Wittmore hasn't been back to Haven Woods since she left as a disgraced teenager. Now she's returning to care for her suddenly ailing mother, and she's bringing her daughter and a pile of emotional baggage. She's also bringing, unknowingly, the last chance for her mother's closest frenemies . . . twelve women bound together by a powerful secret that requires the sacrifice of a thirteenth.” – The Thirteen
The Thirteen is a creepy novel about suburban America at its finest, but with a very “paranormal” twist. I love everything having to do with the paranormal, so it definitely wasn’t that aspect of the book that turned me off to start with. It was how the author wrote her book. She uses a unique way of typing out her book that annoyed me from the start. For example, the use of italics for certain things like thoughts, not capitalizing things that should be, starting paragraphs in odd ways, etc. Some may like this type of thing, but not me.
I wasn’t going to stop reading the novel just because of that though. I was interested in the story, and I love creepy and semi-realistic scary novels. So, as I progressed through the book, I did come to enjoy the story (the typing still annoyed me).
I liked the single mom Paula Wittmore, but she was also the stereotypically “annoying” main character. What I mean by this is that when you’re reading it, she does stupid things and doesn’t notice seemingly obvious things around her. This is the type of character that also makes you want to scream at or shake. Regardless though, I did like her and her daughter Rowan’s mother-daughter tension and issues.
Moloney also uses her humor throughout the book superbly. In horror novels this isn’t usually the case, but she did an excellent job with it. I also really liked the ending (which I’m not giving you spoilers of).
Overall, I thought that this was a good read, especially for people who like horror novels and can see the “creepiness” that is in the seemingly “perfect” suburban towns.
* Thank you to the publisher of The Thirteen, Harper Collins, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.