Sorrowland is a completely unexpected, but ultimately disappointing, tale.
Fifteen and pregnant, Vern runs away from everything she knows. The abusive husband and cult that she is fleeing hunts her down in the nearby woods, but she evades them. Meanwhile, Vern gives birth to twins while learning to live off the land by trial and error. She feels empowered by her freedom. Her body is much stronger. But the headaches and “hauntings” continue unabated even far away from the cult’s reach. Eventually, Vern and her two children emerge from the woods. Luckily, Vern doesn’t have an inkling of what is in store for them.
The first half of Sorrowland is a compelling and completely different read. It feels like a science-fiction/fantasy fable. And then, screech!!!, it takes a crazy left turn into what I can only describe as “popular entertainment” to avoid spoilers. I felt the foreshadowing of the plot turn but hoped I was wrong. How can such a unique book can’t end in such a stereotypical way? But it did. I wish I had stopped reading at around 60%. For these reasons, I can only rate the book as 3 stars. 5 for the beginning and 1 for the ending averaged together.
Thanks to MCD, Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.