Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Seeker from publisher Pegasus Books, LLC, but was not compensated for discussing/reviewing it. My thoughts on the book are my own.
Graduate student Aine Cahill has spent most of her life distancing herself from her violent, drug-addicted, cursed family. Most of her relatives have met ignominious ends, and Aine is counting on her dissertation — and her subsequent fame — to preserve her from the same fate.
Aine has evidence that her ancestor, Bonnie Cahill, was an intimate companion of Henry David Thoreau during his supposedly solitary two years living at Walden Pond. Bonnie’s handwritten journal tells her side of the story, and Aine travels to Concord, Massachusetts determined to find corroborating evidence in Thoreau or his fellow writers’ records.
The deeper Aine digs into the past, however, the more she finds to distrust. Concord has a dark history, not all of it long gone, and soon Aine fights herself fighting against her inherited penchant for seeing ghosts in the shadows.
Perhaps the Cahill curse involves not a what…but a whom.
You guys. I stayed up til 1:30am on a Friday night finishing this book and then realized I’d made a terrible mistake:
This book is terrifying and now I can’t sleep shit shit shit
— Amy Peveto (@AmyPeveto) April 12, 2014
R.B. Chesterton’s novel The Seeker is positively terrifying — and I loved every page.
It is unnerving to see Aine’s self-assuredness in her avoidance of her family’s curse slowly disintegrate as the line between reality and mirage begins to blur.
Aine discovers something frightening at Walden Pond, but the evil has been with her since childhood, its every move calculated to bring her to Concord for some unknown devious purpose.
This same evil haunted Bonnie as well, pressing in on the small cabin she shared with Thoreau. A particular excerpt from her journal really gave me the creeps:
I am here alone, but not quiet. There are others here. Those who would like to speak but have no voice. I avoid looking to the west when darkness has settled over this small cabin. If I am alone, they gather at the window, looking in, wanting…what? They tap with their cold, dead fingers, and I pretend it is the beaks of birds.
Even now, in the middle of the day, this quote freaks me out.
The Seeker is a twisted, turning novel in which neither the reader nor Aine can discern reality from falsehood. Aine’s life quickly spirals out of control, and the novel ends at a heart-stopping moment that had me searching desperately for any signs of a sequel.
If you love scary-as-hell ghost stories, I highly recommend The Seeker. You might just wanna read it with all the lights on.