In 1997's Bible Belt comes an unusual tale of society's least desirable.
A woman plagued by the lasting effects of a disturbing premonition. A man seeking redemption after two decades of street gang affiliation. A priest gifting religious counsel to a community in moral decline. Six neglected youths making their get-a-way in an infamous Dodge van. How does it all come together in the unceasing chaos of poverty?
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5 Star Reviews
"This is a sinister read with themes of religion and identity. It’s dark + strange, takes place on the 90’s, and I am here for it. 💀 The level of artistry and suspense in the writing was great. I’m in awe of the author’s ability to create such a gritty, rich atmosphere in a short number of pages. The writing is simultaneously unsettling and poetic.
While I don’t think this is a read for everyone, as a horror fan I was delighted with how completely original it is."
- Marie Aitchison
"...What I liked most about this book, and what was also the most difficult thing for me, is the very complexity of this novella.
It was hard for me to follow everything in the beginning - there were so many twists and turns, so many things at once, and the language is so rich that I read the first 30 pages very, very slowly. Since this is Laurel's first book, I was honestly so surprised how lush and rich her writing is, and this is definitely not something that all authors succeed at first.
You can see that she really paid attention to every word, every little detail and event, every room where the scenes with the nameless characters take place. It all served to set up that dark, hopeless atmosphere, so we can feel it all through those descriptions - and to be honest, many times it seemed like some lucid dream from which it is very, very difficult to wake up..."
- Nadja Petkovic
"This Novella was dark and possessed in the best way and when I read the description I knew my dark soul had to give it a try. 🖤
Hasara writes in this dark poetically captivating way that made this macabre subject seem hauntingly beautiful. Like, I’m pretty sure she could write nutrition facts and make it sound poetic 😂 The characters are never once named which took some getting used to but I think did a great job at alluding to how people of this status are seemingly disposable in society. It was chaotic and eerie and absolutely beautifully written!
It gave me 'A Clockwork Orange' vibes for some reason but I love that movie so maybe that’s just me lol . Highly looking forward to what this author does in the future!"
- Kaylie Goodwin
My initial intentions were to intertwine the following elements into one unconventionally structured storyline.
- A deeply unsettling atmosphere
- A lesser known 90's true crime case
- The romance between a very undesirable male (an ex-gang member) and female (a single mother with two children from two different men)
- Theological ruminating & how the broken flock to religious temples in troves
- Mental illness linked to poverty
- Vivid horror imageries
I interviewed (and audio recorded) 5 priests from different sects of Christianity from my local Maryland area as part of my professional research from September-December 2019.