“Surrounded by fears. And all of them real.”
Kelly Carter isn’t your typical ten year old girl. On the surface she may seem like your ordinary, everyday American youth. Yet some most prominent fears plague the girl’s mind. Fear of the dark, water, and monsters nearly cripple her for regular, healthy summer time activities most children enjoy. After the Carter family goes on vacation to a remote cottage in Kildare Lake, Kelly soon realizes her irrational fears breathe a life into their own. While her younger brother is battling a terminal disease Kelly must find the strength to keep her brother safe in a realm where evil lurks around every corner.
Upon reading the title of this adventurous novella, one may suspect that a dreadful oversight had transpired within the editorial department. Make no mistake about it, the fine folks at Samhain Publishing have unleashed a most formidable adventure, suspense story from a highly talented author. The title is formatted to accentuate a segue of inner fear from our lead protagonist Kelly Carter that is projected unto a vast reading audience and surely will become a classic contemporary novel for the ages.
Govaere seems to understand her target market and raises the stakes within the opening paragraphs. A very real and surreal sense of foreboding is harnessed concerning young Cody’s terminal illness. We as the reading audience feel an instant sense of empathy towards the Carter family. On a subconscious level we rip through the pages to unveil what possible fate may lie ahead for poor Cody, his sister and parents.
The descriptions of the lake, Kildare Lake encompasses a sense of all consuming fear. Fear of the unknown is exploited within young Kelly’s mind. One cannot help but compare her own paranoia and fantasies to our own as youths. One may be best advised to refrain from embarking upon this most entertaining read within a cottage setting at least.
A very special bond between siblings Kelly and Cody is highlighted. It’s most refreshing to witness a family bond that is devoid of rivalry and concentrated more on emotional support. It’s endearing to read exactly what lengths the girl will selflessly undertake to ensure the wellbeing of her brother.
The plot heightens considerably upon Kelly’s visit to the town library one day. Without indulging in too many plot spoilers, suffice to say that a certain tragedy within the town limits plays a most intricate role within the development of conflict escalation.
Many secondary characters are introduced as the story develops. Each makes and effective pawn in creating suspense, allure and mystique in the tale. As Kelly begins to piece together the mystery of Lake Kildare we begin to question what sinister intent the secondary characters may have towards the Carters.
The final act certainly does not disappoint and manages to take a pivotal turn that most will not see coming. Girrrl is something I believe even Alfred Hitchcock himself would be proud of. I was most enchanted by this reading odyssey and highly look forward to additional efforts by the highly imaginative wordsmith Devin Govaere.