The September House” by Carissa Orlando

Review by Yvonne Selander, collection development librarian

Margaret loves her house. The old Victorian with the wraparound porch is everything she ever dreamed it would be and there is no way she would ever leave. Even with the difficulties of every September. Sure, the screaming in the middle of the night and the blood streaming down the walls steadily gets louder and worse throughout the month. The ghosts range from annoying to ghastly to bitey to downright frightening. But there are rules. As long as Margaret follows the rules September turns into October and her lovely home is hers again.

But there is the problem of Katherine. Her daughter moved away before Margaret and Hal purchased the house and now she’s coming for a visit. In September. Because Margaret can’t hide the fact that Hal left and didn’t come back from her daughter anymore. Margaret is fine with it, she’s gotten used to him being gone actually, but Katherine wants answers. Or at least she thinks she does.

How much can you overlook and learn to live with? How much abuse can a person take before they hit their breaking point? That is the crux of this book. Margaret likes finding out the rules for any given situation – digging up bones in the backyard and bringing them to the bitey ghost makes him disappear for a while? Perfect! – and the author delves into her life to see what made her so good at figuring out how to appease and survive the spirits of the house.

Fair warning: this book gets a bit (read: very) gory in spots but it’s worth it to see what happens this fateful September in this LibraryReads Top Pick.

Another entry into horror that can be read on many levels that leaves you thinking at the end. I’m eagerly awaiting the author’s next book.