By Sadie York
I’m a very picky reader, especially when it comes to horror. Often I find myself blankly staring at words with no interest in the content. For me, I need a hook from the start that gradually unravels until the climax. These attributes are specifically vital in horror books, which often don’t even have a plot surrounding the theme of terror. Recently, I was scrolling through my TikTok feed and came across a few book recommendations. Among them was Mary: An Awakening of Terror, a story that immediately intrigued me just from a brief summary. I headed to my library and checked out the book, promptly indulging in the pages.
Mary: An Awakening of Terror revolves around a quiet, middle-aged woman who has been experiencing horrifying visions in her sleep, mirror, and in the faces of other women around her age. Alarmed, she seeks a professional opinion which unhelpfully labels her condition as menopause. While in her cramped New York apartment, Mary receives a call from her insufferable Aunt Nadine, who requests Mary return home and take care of her, as she’s alone and dying. On this trip, Mary wishes to find the reasoning behind her unusual behavior and understand the depths of her situation. As soon as she reaches her hometown, things begin to escalate. Between peculiar events and twisted revelations, Mary’s true intentions unravel into a wicked surprise. Author Nat Cassidy does an exceptional job of creating the multi-dimensional character of Mary. Her unique storytelling adds to the uneasy element of the book, one that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Cassidy writes a powerful narrative regarding the complicit nature of society’s treatment of middle-aged women. Her ability to capture the emotions of a complicated character and manipulate the perspective never ceases to amaze me. Overall, Mary: An Awakening of Terror is a great read and will keep you invested for all 416 pages!