Published By: Black Spot
Released On: 07/06/2022
The skeletons in the closet have nothing on the one in your backyard.
Freshly divorced and grieving the death of her father, Josie Lauer caged herself inside her home. To cope with her losses, Josie follows a strict daily routing of work, playing with her dog, Po, and trying to remember to eat a decent meal – and ending each night by drinking copious amounts of vodka. In other words, she is not coping at all.
Everything changes when Josie wakes to find a small shrub has sprouted in her otherwise dirt backyard, the morning after yet another bender. Within hours, the vine-like plant is running amok – and it’s brought company. The appearance of the unwieldy growth has also heralded the arrival of a busybody new neighbour who insists on thrusting herself into Josie’s life. The neighbour Josie can deal with. The talking skeleton called Skelly that has perched itself in Josie’s backyard on a throne of vines, however, is an entirely different matter.
As the strangely sentient plant continues to grow and twist its tendrils inside Josie’s suddenly complicated life, Josie begins to realise her new neighbour knows a lot more about the vines and hr bizarre new visitor than she initially lets on. There’s a reason Skelly has chosen to appear in Josie’s suddenly blooming backyard and insists on pulling her out of her carefully kept self-isolation. All Josie has to do is figure out what that reason is – and she only has a few days to do it, or else she might find herself on the wrong side of catastrophe.
Thanks to NetGalley and Black Spot for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.
Ooh what a beautiful cover this is – and yes, I am judging it.
It’s quite a simple plot, a situation where a lot happens and nothing happens all at the same time. Instead it’s a wonderful exploration of character and of self identity.
This is possibly one of the most bizarre books I have ever read. It’s such a surprise of a book, in a genre of itself. If you’re after a book different to any other, this is a good choice.
It’s a short book, quick to read, which is good because I think if it was any longer it would really frazzle your mind.
I love the interactions between Josie and Skelly, the skeleton in her garden. They’re so witty and sarcastic, two sides of the same coin. If I’m honest, my favourite character was actually Josie’s dog Po, he’s moody and aloof and uninterested and my ideal friend.
I did enjoy it, it was weird and quirky and fun and a bit scary. If I’m honest, it is a little bit confusing (or at least, it was for me), and I’m not sure I would be able to convey to someone exactly what the book meant at times. I definitely think it’s a book to read for yourself, as everyone will get something different out of it I would imagine. It is a very enjoyable book, a very good read, and it does worm its way into your brain and you really start thinking about your own life and your affect on the world around it.
It is a book unlike anything I have ever read, or will read for a long time; unique and quirky and real food for thought. It would be perfect for a book club discussion.