I read an e-galley of a book that comes out, appropriately enough, in September 2023. I read a tiny little description of it, saw that there was a haunted house, and put in a request. I thought it was a great title and was really stoked to read it. And then... I didn't like it. BUT, it got a starred review on Publisher's Weekly. So, there's that.
Orlando, Carissa- The September House
OK, here's the deal- I wanted something scary. The ghosts didn't spook me. There was quite alot of gore, which I don't like. The main character keeps up an inner monologue that the PW reviewer found amusing. I didn't. Humor is so subjective.
Here's the short version: a woman and her husband move into their dream house, a beautiful Victorian. They haven't been able to buy a house for years- their daughter is grown when they move in- and the narrator moved around a good deal as a kid, so the house was really important to her. Then, she finds out early on that it's haunted. Blood down the walls, wailing, ghosts, etc. She researches and finds out all their names. Scary basement. Then her husband goes missing. That's not a spoiler- it happens just before the story starts.
It's called The September House because the haunting really ramps up that month. Unfortunately, the MC's daughter is coming to visit in September, being naturally upset that her dad's gone missing.
So, there are ghosts a-plenty, but they aren't very scary. Even the biggest, baddest ghost just wasn't scary. The gore is treated so casually that it's supposed to be a joke. The main character is sort of trapped in the house, and the book is comparing that to being trapped in an abusive marriage. But in a funny way. I skimmed through the climax because of the gore. I just hate that stuff. If you like a haunted house story in which the ghost are just matter-of-fact characters and don't mind some gore, it's worth a try.
To be fair, I will say this- it did keep my attention. Maybe because I kept waiting for it to get scary. I don't know, but I read it in three days. I did like the descriptions of the house.
The link above is an affiliate link, and if you don't think I deserve a commission because I was mean about the book, there's probably a buy link in the PW review linked above. Or ask your library to get it.