Quick Reminder: This month we are reading ‘How To Sell A Haunted House’ by Grady Hendrix!
Today I’m going to discuss the book in the same way I normally do online. You can find the recorded talk on my book club Instagram page. I’ll give a quick plot summary plus my overall star/scare-factor ratings. Then I will share the discussion topics and trivia questions. Please include all of your answers and opinions down below. I want to know exactly what you thought. I’ll also leave the answers to the trivia questions at the very bottom of the post, so if you wish to guess without being spoiled, do not scroll to the end until you’re ready. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
MOSAIC BY CATHERINE MCCARTHY – SEPTEMBER 2023
When a stained-glass artist embarks upon the restoration of a church window, her personal demons are put to the test when she unveils a conspiracy to reawaken a cosmic force.
OVERALL STAR RATING
I gave this novella a 2.5/5 stars. It had an incredibly strong start, but the ending left something to be desired. It was quite bizarre and abrupt. A certain character showed up at the end without any sort of explanation as to why. I wish it had been fleshed out more and the payoff worth the build-up. I will give props to the atmosphere and unique concept though.
OVERALL SCARE-FACTOR RATING
I gave it a scare-factor rating of 3/5. There were certain scenes in the crypt that unsettled me and the entity within the stained-glass window was creepy. Had the ending been different, the scares could have been more effective.
1.) What are your thoughts on cosmic horror and the novella’s ending?
I am really not a fan of cosmic horror. I was not aware that Mosaic was going to exude Lovecraftian energy, so to be fair, my lower rating had a lot to do with that. It also explained the bizarre ending. They are inextricably linked. If you enjoy this particular sub-genre, you will probably warm to the story more.
2.) How did the author weave feminist horror into her story?
The author gave her main character an androgynous name, making it a point that people don’t typically expect a glass restorer to be a woman. Furthermore, the protagonist stood up for herself when a misogynistic comment was made toward the end of the novella. It was a way to break stereotypes, which I appreciated.
3.) Did the concept of piecing together a stained-glass window help build to the terrifying climax or make it too predictable?
We knew something was coming with the building of the window. It had to or what was the point? The mystery lay behind the why not the what. Unfortunately, the why wasn’t really explained, so it didn’t work.
Easy: What did Robin and her sister’s name have in common?
Medium: What was the real name of the church?
Hard: What dessert reminded Robin of her mother?
I hope you enjoyed the book club discussion in this post and on Instagram. As mentioned above, share all of your thoughts in the comments below! If you have any feedback/suggestions to improve the book club, please let me know. I look forward to talking to you all next month! Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
TRIVIA ANSWERS: Easy: Both were named after birds. Medium: The Church of Starry Wisdom. Hard: Carrot Cake.