How many of us have found ourselves losing ourselves in a over the top paranormal reality show? I think most of us have at one time or another, whether we genuinely believe or as a guilty pleasure. Well for Merry Barret, that was her childhood. When her older, sweetheart sister Marjorie starts acting out in some outlandish and disturbing way, the family finds itself pariahs of the neighborhood and focus of a hot new show based on her “possession”. The Barrets were average though financially struggling middle- class family and while the show seems to help that problem, the family begins disintegrating under the pressures of religion, mental illness, and repressed trauma as Merry Barret recounts the story of what really happened on the infamous shows years after, leaving us to wonder if what was really real?
This is the first book I’ve read by Tremblay and what I’ve seen to be his most popular. I don’t say this much but this book actually made me feel something really deep and I got to give Paul Tremblay credit for that. Merry Barret is a really sympathetic main character you really do feel for as the story goes on; her family I related to but I hated them because of Merry and her plight. I like the approach the story takes, leaving quite a bit of ambiguity at play. While not an outrageous ghost story, this is a very tense and tragic story of how mental illness and greed can destroy a family. I won’t recommend if you want something flashy and gory but I highly recommend it as a quick psychological horror drama. May the gaming gods bring you glory.