Review: The Night Strangers

The Night Strangers
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a pleasure reading this book was! Bohjanian writes in a wonderfully flowing style that – in tandem with the engaging plot – pulls the reader along like an undercurrent. He also has a sinister streak, which I greatly appreciate. “The Night Strangers” is a creepy, satisfying read and provides a nice twist on what I feared was a tired plot line that emerges after the family of protagonists moves to Bethel, Vermont in the wake of the father’s plane crash. While this novel works very well as an unsettling, supernatural thriller, what cannot be missed are the underlying themes of the human condition; how we deal with loss and guilt, and the kind of influences that we allow past our defenses when at our lowest.
If you are a parent, you may find some parts of the novel particularly difficult to get through. Get through them. It’s worth it.
On a personal note, as someone who already has a pronounced anxiety about flying, it occurred to me often while reading Bohjalian’s novel that I will never set foot on an airplane again. It is my hope, though, that the viscerally rendered passages depicting the plane crash will fade from memory with time. If not, traveling is going to that much more terrifying. Thanks, Mr. Bohjalian. Thanks a lot.

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