A contemporary Gothic from an author in the company of Kelly Link and Aimee Bender, Mr. Splitfoot tracks two women in two times as they march toward a mysterious reckoning.
Ruth and Nat are orphans packed into a house full of abandoned children run by a religious fanatic. To entertain their siblings, they channel the dead. Decades later Ruth's niece, Cora, finds herself accidentally pregnant. After years of absence, Aunt Ruth appears, mute and full of intention. She is on a mysterious mission, leading Cora on an odyssey across the entire state of New York on foot. Where is Ruth taking them? Where has she been? And who - or what - has she hidden in the woods at the end of the road?
In an ingeniously structured dual narrative, two separate timelines move toward the same point of crisis. Their merging will upend and reinvent the whole. A subversive ghost story that is carefully plotted and elegantly constructed, Mr. Splitfoot will set your heart racing and your brain churning. Mysteries abound, criminals roam free, utopian communities show their age, and the mundane world intrudes on the supernatural - and vice versa.
©2016 Samantha Hunt (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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I was excited about this one and super let-down. Nothing happens, it just goes in circles, and the voice of Ruth was so airy and irritating I found myself yelling at it
Ms. Hunt...I'm not sure how to react to your book other than to say, hmmm, it was interesting...(like they say, "your mother's meatloaf is *interesting*"). Not sure what the hell was going on. It was like running in a dream where your feet don't touch the ground -- but then there is a passage in the book where the characters do just that. Or like being really stoned at the dentist and thinking you've solved world peace and then the gas wears off; or driving down the road when you notice you suddenly don't know how you got where you are; or listening to 11 hrs of an audio book and wondering if the LSD you took in your wild youth really is stored in your spinal column and just got knocked loose... Freaked me out, so I resorted to the experts.
"What keeps all this engaging — beyond the real charm of these two young people — is the way Hunt refuses to let any conclusions solidify in her wry prose." [Wash. Post] Read that last little portion of the quote again....Ehhh... I'm not convinced they know what the hell either. They wrote some very nice things about your book, loved the prose, which made me feel a little bit better about myself, a little less obtuse, because I too loved the prose. Which brings me to how the hell I came about picking your book. I saw the title somewhere in a S. King interview; again it was suggested to me by Audible; again a friend said I needed to read; and I enjoy me some supernatural Gothic occasionally, especially those that are "evil...fru-its of the devil" [Mike Meyers]. Splitfoot sounds like the reportedly cloven-hoofed Beelzebub, the cover looks like the wily garden serpent, voila. And here I am finished and I'm still not sure whether or not your Mardellion is supposed to be Mephistopheles.
A very encourage ing reviewer said..."the novel moves not just in two time frames, told through two voices, a first-person narrator and a third, but also moves in the fourth dimension."[NYTimes] I suspect my own literary shortcomings, but have to tell you that I've transcended the temporal and spatial interpretations of the fourth dimension with Proust, H.G.Wells, Dostoevsky, Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford more soberly. And, I love a good mash-up: future past and present; fact and fiction; science and supernatural...throw in some religious dogma, and I'm in Mitchell heaven. Mix you did! From L. Ron, to Joseph Smith, to aliens, Carl, Sagan, to a comet that hit the US, to a Comet-cleanser snorting cult leader *deep breath* golden plates to the Voyager Golden Records.
I can't really write I review of a book that leaves me wondering, WTH? So, I'm taking some of your words as advice...“There isn’t any point to it,” complains Cora, mid-journey. “I’m not getting anywhere. No start, middle, or end.”
Call me Cora.
"I love this book!"
I heard an interview with the author on Studio 360 and tried to get the Audible version. Too soon. So I read it on Kindle. Hated to lose the characters so I ordered it on Audible. Even better the second time. Great writing, well performed. You will often have to stop because a sentence is so powerful or beautifully written.These characters and their story are still with me. Now, added to my favorite books list.
"A Bohemian Brew"
A bizarre story that defies simple description or explanation: parts journey, supernatural, grotesque, coming-of-age, cult, flim-flam, romance and surreal.
Maybe I could say the novel is a long and lively stew brewed up by a playful witch, after oversleeping her nap at the credibility gap.
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