The Night Strangers
By Chris Bohjalian
Completed October 13, 2011
One of the reasons I enjoy novels by Chris Bohjalian is because you never get the same thing twice. Many authors have a little formula to their writing, but Bohjalian shakes it up everytime. And that’s definitely the case with his latest book, The Night Strangers.
The story opens with a shocking plane crash scene. Chip Linton is the pilot who attempts a “Chelsey Sullenberger” landing on Lake Champlain. However, Chip’s plane met with deadly turbulence, and all but nine people, including Chip, survived the crash. Depressed and grief-stricken, Chip and his wife, Emily, and their twins, Hallie and Garnet, decide to start fresh. They move to an old house in northern New Hampshire, hoping for a new life.
As they settle into their home, Chip begins to see visions – or maybe ghosts – of three of the passengers who died during the crash. His behavior becomes erratic, and Emily seeks solace for a group of local women who are avid herbalists. The herbalist women, though, have an agenda of their own – to get the blood from one of the twins for a “tincture.” The two storylines come to head at the end of the book, leaving the reader with an ending that will shock many.
The Night Strangers is one of those books that would make a great movie. As I read it, I had fun casting actors into roles, especially the herbal-loving women. Meryl Streep, Ellen Burstyn, Diane Keaton and Diane Lane all seeped into my mind’s eye as perfect actors for Anise, Sage, Ginger and Reseda. Even the house is its own character with creaking stairs, mysterious doors and bones in the basement. Indeed, The Night Strangers would make a fantastic film.
If you love ghost stories or creepy tales, make sure to put The Night Strangers on your to-read list. Between the diabolical herbalists and mutilated ghosts, you have a story that’s perfect for October. ( )
FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for review on my blog.