Book Review: ‘The FaceLess Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home’

From the New York Times bestselling authors of ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ and “It Devours!’ and the creators of the hit podcast, comes a new novel set in the world of Night Vale and beyond.

This book presents itself to us as a fantasy with two stories running concurrently. This is a format that makes me uncomfortable because it’s so easy to get lost. The storyline is well-known to readers who have made themselves familiar with the town of Night Vale. The best you can do is read and just hang on.

It starts with one of the characters being tormented by a ghost or something similar, then we slip into the past of 1792 and a motherless baby girl who grows up to become a sea captain. She has many stories about pirates and smugglers and is raised by her father who is helped by his best friend Leonard. They are smugglers and the estate of her father is in the Mediterranean by the ocean. A lot of back and forth ensues.

In another century, there is a group of friends who help the same motherless girl run her little shop. Her father is murdered and it turns out that he was betrayed. A history of revenge and hatred and a complete lack of humanity is laid out before you. The old saying, “A man who desires revenge should first dig two graves,” has no place here as there are a lot more graves to dig. The price paid for betrayal is harsh and there is no redemption for those who show no respect for human nature and nature’s needs.

The book is not complicated, as such, but I could not find the reason for the intensity of hatred that was reflected throughout the storylines. Some will enjoy this, others won’t. When you have a many-eyed, seven-foot-tall angel asking for money, you end up throwing your hat at it all. As I said, if you’re a fan of Night Vale, you will go along with the story but if you’re not, then you won’t give a hoot about anything or anyone, including the faceless old woman who lives in your home!

Available in Bookstores March 24th

Ann McDonald

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