There is a running theme on my website where I post my reviews first. It is a theme that fits within a sub-genre under horror in literature. But I have an issue with the term genre. When someone asks me what genre I read, I run my mouth off with a list of things that apparently fit the bill but frankly I read from where it has taken me emotionally, psychologically, intellectually and even physically. Horror is one of these things. It is not a genre, It is a term used by the masses because we as a society find the need to label everything and fit it in its own special little niche.
As children we are afraid of the shadow of a tree branch across the quilt that grandma just tucked around us. We continue to have our heart rate increase as the clown that lives in the closet starts moving the boxes of old clothes around on his way closer and closer. The gurgling of the toilet is actually the alligator your brother told you about right before you went to sleep by yourself for the first time in the guest bedroom instead of the kids room with the babies. As we grow older our fears are laced by the world outside those bedroom walls. We are tainted with real world horrors, the terror of the falling towers, the death of our grandmother, the sniffle our child has turning out to be something so serious it requires them to be hospitalized, our imagination is lost to those of the real world. However in the case of a well written tale of horror, the author infringes our psyches, bypassing rational thought and stroking the fears and terrors we put into the back of the closet behind the box holding that quilt that used to keep us safe.
The experience I had was layer upon layer of different emotions which the characters pulled from me, dragging me into the closet of my childhood, and under the bed and clawing me from the safety of my cabin. To say I was a bit excited to find something which aroused these feelings of terror, which made my heart race, made me exclaim an “oh my god!” as a surprise turn in the action threw me off the cliff with the brambles in the bottom, and not the one that would have landed me in the drink is an understatement. I sat up, or hunkered down under the covers, I had to really pay attention or I would end up drowning under a bridge.
Oh yes, the bridge, just what is up with the bridge? It is New England,and Vermont, the beauty of the covered bridge is sprinkled all over the area. I used to live in New England and I remember driving every weekend to some corner of a small county just to see a covered bridge, or some other in the New England flavor. I am a huge fan of Lovecraft so living where his stories were wrought from was exciting and I live to experience, and breathe through my mouth, tasting life, not just sniffing politely in the corner of a coffee shop. I have a distinct memory of my first covered bridge, it was not anything special, that bridge but I remember looking into the shadows, not seeing the light at the other side, but of the way my chest tightened at the idea of walking through the shadows in the middle of the bridge. When I read Lakebridge, it was the thought of those shadows from my wanderlust years that popped up. As I have stated before, sometimes a bridge is not just a bridge. It drew not only me, but it drew the inhabitants of Stansbury. Each stating different reasons yet truthfully they are not. Is the bridge evil? I believe it is a symbol, a physical statement of what I believe Stansbury is.
As you can see, I find myself having difficulty describing this book and what it is about. It is about a small town with each character described and built much like Chaucer‘s characters within the pages of “The Canterbury Tales“, they embody the idealistic ideals of each member of a small town populace. The town sweetheart, our school teacher, the town quirky storekeeper, Gil who runs the gas station all tourists stop at, even the serial killer plays a very solid idealistic and necessary roll. There is hope, love, terror, birth, death and it is encapsulated and expanding, stretching from clearest of skies, the darkest stormy nights.
So go get that quilt from the box in the closet, making sure you shut the door tight behind you, Tuck yourself in and begin your own experience in the cycle of Lakebridge. Oh, that shadow? Do not worry, it’s just a tree branch, I swear!