By: E.F. Schraeder
Omnium Gatherum Publishing
When young couple Alex and Rainey strive for a new beginning in a sleepy hollow town, all their dreams have come true. While there is initial reluctance, buying a rustic, fixer upper of a home seems to be the calling the binds the two even deeper. Not long after the move, Rainey develops a peculiar obsession with local folklore. Desolation and isolation preys upon vulnerability. While Alex fears the very act of relocating, a gesture of commitment that brought the two together, may very well be the thing that tears them apart.
Some things in life simply are not intended to be rushed. The finest of wines, get better with age. Wisdom and enlightenment come with experience, trial, and error. Even our most cherished streaming shows tend to resonate better when viewed in moderation, rather than overindulging with binges. Some novels can be regarded the same. Some stories are intended for ravenous consumption while others tingle upon your every fibre of your most vulnerable consciousness.
Liar: Memoir of a Haunting, I believe slides most comfortably into the latter of the two types of tales. While almost embarrassed to admit the amount of lapsed time it has been from cover to cover since my esteemed editor had forwarded me this release for review, this tale was best enjoyed at a slow simmer for maximum impact.
Sampling a few pages of E.F. Schraeder’s work each day brought the characters to vivid life. Moreover, the types of trials and tribulations I had faced within my personal life mirrored what characters Rainey and Alex had been going through. My own follies and defeats no longer seemed so benign as I got to live vicariously through our troubled protagonist.
E.F. Schraeder focuses on one of our most common fears. Solitude, loneliness, and depression are predominant themes. The author has an unrelenting grip on the types of subtexts that resonate in emotion, through and through. We’ve all felt alone. We’ve all felt despair. Schraeder prompts us not only to find these fears once again but face them head on, in a collision surely to inspire more than a few sleepless nights in your near future.
Coupled with a heart wrenching sense of melancholy and estrangement as well. It is evident the author has dug deep to exhume some painful inspiration to convey such effective story telling. It has often been said, as a carnal rule of writing, write about what you know. The author’s depiction of inner alienation and isolation will force even the most jaded and cynical of readers to redefine fear. Suffice to say, the darkest of horror lurk directly within.
Our lead protagonist’s obsession with the term of concept of ‘final girl’ is unnerving and creepy. Yet somehow her desperation is poetic. A certain sense of vulnerable beauty is conveyed, and our initial red flags or warning signs are highlighted much to the unease of the devoted reader.
The character’s spiraling descent into detachment of reality is evident through and through in the pages of her journal. Confessions of being a fan of horror as a child, further manifests the slippery slope of fantasy versus reality. We begin to truly feel for the impending fate of our leading heroine.
Our lead’s madness perpetuates as a certain nod or homage to Evil Dead and Cabin Fever are noted. An undisputed reoccurring theme of conflict within permeating to conflict of person versus nature can be denied no longer. Playing tricks upon the brain in the remote woods just makes for remarkably effective terror.
Her gathering momentum into rapid insanity appears as ramblings at first yet the most horrific of epiphanies is the realization many of our lead protagonist’s observations hold a great deal of authenticity in each. The reader’s suspended sense of pondering, forever questioning, ‘what if’ is conjured repeatedly.
Liar: A Memoir Haunting is a most welcome and ideal read for audiences looking for something new. Whether devoured within one to two sittings or taken at your own pace and leisure, be best advised to read this novella with company and with the lights on for a night or two.