Book Review: The Night Strangers

The Night Strangers

Chris Bohjalian

Crown

400 pages

There’s not much more Chip Linton could want in life.  He has twin daughters, Garnet and Hallie, and his wife Emily is a well established attorney.  They live in a typical suburban and Chip enjoys his career as an airline pilot.  Then the unthinkable happens; Chip is flying a plane one day when a gaggle of geese flies in front of his plane, destroying the engines.  Chip has to come up with a solution, and quickly, so he attempts to land the plane on a lake.  Unfortunately, a huge wave envelopes the ship as it lands, killing 39 people.  Although Chip is not responsible for the crash, he is wracked with guilt.  Emily feels like their family needs a fresh start in order for Chip to escape his demons, so they move to an older home in New Hampshire.

The home holds its own secrets, mostly tied to the apparent suicide of a twelve year old boy decades ago.  The mood of the house traps Chip, and not only is he being haunted by the victims of the plane crash, but the house itself seems to have a strange hold on him.  Add to that the strange women that live in the town and are trying to befriend the family, especially their prepubescent daughters, and you have quite a strange story on your hands.

I was excited and nervous about the book because I have had my ups and downs with Bohjalian.  I loved Midwives when I read it in high school but I read The Double Bind a few years later and was bored with it.  Therefore, I was nervous that Midwives was a fluke and that Bohjalian is just not the writer for me.  There were times in The Night Strangers that I was convinced I was right to be nervous, especially at the beginning.  There were times when the plot and the characters started to feel cheap, but it turned out to resolve itself.  I didn’t necessarily forge an understanding with the characters, but it didn’t matter because the story was so engrossing.

I know some bloggers took issue with the epilogue but I actually thought the tone was perfect.  It was different from the rest of the book, but there was good reason for that.  Emily and Chip had obviously changed drastically from the start of the book.  There’s more I want to say but I would hate to spoil it for those who haven’t read the book yet!

If you’re looking for a good, creepy story for RIP, this one certainly fits the bill.

Other Reviews:

Jenn’s Bookshelves

Bibliophile by the Sea

Book Chatter

I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.

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18 Responses

  1. I would agree that the epilogue did fit the tone of the novel, I just didn’t like where it went! LOL!

    I was totally sucked into the story though.I read it very quickly and felt like I HAD to know what happened right away.

    By chance, are you watching American Horror Story on TV right now? I just watched the pilot and I have episode 2 on my DVR, it’s VERY creepy and disturbing but it has the same feel as Night Strangers.

  2. I’m about 65% through this one right now. That Ti, she is such a convincer! It is really really creepy, and is perfect for this time of year. I need to get away from the computer and finish it!

  3. You definitely have me intrigued by this review, so vague but interesting. 🙂

  4. I have a galley copy of this one and am saving it for when I need something spooky! I’ve never read anything by Bohjalian, but I’ve heard good things about him and think this will be a good introduction to him.

    (Also, I’m glad you liked the epilogue here, because normally I do not truck with epilogues as they annoy me…)

  5. I’ve always wanted to read a Bohjalian; do you recommend a title?

  6. I really loved Midwives, but I haven’t read any of his other books.

  7. I do like creepy stories, so I’ll keep this one in mind. I liked Midwives, and Skeletons at the Feast is in my TBR pile.

  8. Ooh I’m totally intrigued by your note about the epilogue. I was looking forward to reading this anyway as I like his books. I read Midwives and TranSister Radio and another one that I forgot the title of.

  9. I think I’ll have to read this book. I only read his book Midwives and liked it but never sought out anything else by him for some reason.

  10. I’ve been thinking I needed to get a hold of this. Thanks for the heads up not to give up on it too early and to give the epilogue its due.

  11. I loved Midwives but sadly have not read any more of Bohjalian’s books. This one has been speaking to me though. I am glad to hear you enjoyed it.

  12. I loved Midwives and really enjoyed the audio version of Before You Know Kindness. It sounds like I would enjoy this one, too.

  13. I REALLY want to read this book! Alas, my public library doesn’t have it. I’ll wait a few months and try the ole Interlibrary Loan trick.

  14. […] Christa’s Books Annette’s Book Spot Reviews By Lola […]

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