Author: Rachel Harrison
Genre: Fiction, Horror, Paranormal
Page Count: 304
Published by: Berkley Books
Date Published: October 5, 2021
You can find it here: Bookshop.org
All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation.
Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem…a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power…but she couldn’t be…could she?
Ah women, stop apologizing.
This was unexpected – and I hate writing that because it comes across a little mean spirited – but I simply mean, whatever you think this story will be based on reading the synopsis, I can guarantee this book will not be entirely what you presumed.
I freaking loved this story and was exactly the right horror read for me – powers that be help the poor reader during “spooky season” who doesn’t want to read bone chilling, disturbing horror but (gasp!) wants an itty bitty scary read to pair with the season. Cackle delivers for you, my fellow scaredy-cats.
Cackle is charming and cozy, it’s spooky but not disturbing, it’s funny and feminist. It is this feminist conversation – why women make themselves small, why they apologize for being who they are, liking what they like, looking how they look. They bend, they contort, and why? How freeing it is when you can face life as you are, right in this moment. It’s a powerful goal that I know many of us struggle to attain and I appreciated Rachel Harrison’s message to us all. “He fears me because he is small. I will not shrink myself down to his size, or anyone else’s, for their comfort. For their appeasement.
If you’re looking for a quickly paced witchy story that is going to deliver small town charm, steaming cups of coffee, delicious descriptions of food, and a good dash of spook without the blood – grab ahold of Cackle and enjoy! That was perfectly delightful.