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Mary: An Awakening of Terror

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She’s ignored at work, she’s single and has no prospects, and people tend treat her like she’s invisible. Disappointing because the opening line of “there’s a corpse in the bathtub” normally would have my FULL attention. I would also compare his writing to Sara Gran based solely on a vibe that I can't for the life of me put into earthly words. Bottom line is, Cassidy's debut horror novel absolutely struck a chord with me and is definitely worth your time; lots of patriarchal anxiety smashed, tons of gore and blood, epic confrontations and ants! Nadine is verbally abusive and mean, but then as soon as Mary is on her own, there's a transformation.

I also thought that a lot of the aspects he explored in this book in terms of plots, from reincarnation to small town secrets to body horror were all very well done, and came together in unique ways that really got his story across. Also, he clearly has a lot of love for “Carrie”, as in his author’s note he explains that Mary is a reimagining of a woman like Carrie who does make it past the night of Prom, and what that would look like. A story of this kind doesn't really need to be more than 400 pages and while I was never really bored I still felt like this could have been trimmed down quite a bit without losing it's magic. There, the perimenopausal symptoms get even worse, she's haunted by murdered women and her own past.And, though each chapter in Mary's journey is wild, riveting, and chaotic, this isn't one to read for the twists. Originally inspired by Steven King’s Carrie, the author began writing this horror novel when he was just thirteen years old. Along with the hot flashes and body aches, she can’t look in a mirror without passing out, and the voices in her head have been urging her to do unspeakable things.

In his foreword to Mary, Nat Cassidy credits and makes a point in noting the strong mark King's titular figure left on him - up to the point where he, as a young boy, elevated her to a kind of matron saint due to her suffering, after seeing and being left shocked and awed by the sight of a bloodied, iconic Sissy Spacek playing Carrie White in the 1976 movie. Mary realizes this is the perfect time to escape New York after being fired from her job, but quickly notices that she has bigger issues at hand.

In the split second before I react, I see the impression of eyes, of a mouth, the dented wetness of the gory fabric. There are some doctor scenes in this book in which Mary’s problems get repeatedly dismissed as menopause and these scenes are especially significant, many women of any age will recognize this kind of dismissal of symptoms as either period or eating problems. TWs for quite a number of super disturbing topics you might wanna look into but I have to mention that there’s a pretty graphic animal violence scene.

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