The Beginners – Rebecca Wolff


Stars: Three and three quarters out of five.

Review format: Brief review plus links.
Summary: The chilling, hypnotically beautiful story of a girl whose coming of age is darkened by the secret history of her small New England town. A meticulous and pitch-perfect fever dream of adolescence, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson remixed by Mary Gaitskill.” -Jonathan Lethem, author of The Fortress of Solitude and Chronic City
Theo and Raquel Motherwell are the only newcomers to the sleepy town of Wick in fifteen-year-old Ginger Pritt’s memory. Hampered by a lingering innocence while her best friend, Cherry, grows more and more embroiled with boys, Ginger is instantly attracted to the worldliness and sophistication of this dashing couple. 
But the Motherwells may be more than they seem. As Ginger’s keen imagination takes up the seductive mystery of their past, she also draws closer to her town’s darker history-back to the days of the Salem witch trials-and every new bit of information she thinks she understands leads only to more questions. Who-or what-exactly, are the Motherwells? And what is it they want with her? 
Both a lyrical coming-of-age story and a spine-tingling tale of ghostly menace, The Beginners introduces Rebecca Wolff as an exciting new talent in fiction. (quoted from my library’s description)
Provenance: eBook borrowed from the local library.

The Beginners – Rebecca Wolff:  Reminds me a lot of Jo Walton’s Among Others… and that is a major compliment.

A touch of stephen king, definitely also the lottery

The writing is fabulous.

Opening is great – morbid musings on death make you think something dreadful is pending, and perhaps that someone dreadful is narrating, but then surprise it’s a fifteen-year-old girl pondering deep topics while working at a diner.

Hints of something awful yet-to-com, but nothing overwrought. Fabulously creepy description of ‘the new people’s’ tiny underfurnished house.

Drowned towns.

Voice of narrator – old beyond her years but completely believable.

Linkage, Spoilage, and many Quibbles below

Links and other reviews   (added by me, not generated)

  • Caustic cover critic. Intellengent commentary about the composition of the cover art. Myself, I think the girl’s expression also evokes the teenage desire fantasies that swirl over her
  • IMHO.


  • Nothing yet.

Things I liked (including some spoilers)

  • The asies.  I liked the alienness…


Shall I link to your review? Let me know in a comment or contact, and I can add the link here.

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