Mattie can’t remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes that they’re not alone after all. There’s something in the woods that wasn’t there before, something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws. When three strangers appear on the mountaintop looking for the creature in the woods, Mattie knows their presence will anger William. Terrible things happen when William is angry.
Mattie’s character broke my heart in this book. Just how much she has retreated into her mind, blocking out all her old memories and just becoming accustomed to the truly terrible treatment she has had to endure from William. Just the cavalier way her mind just accepts that she is going to be beaten and tortured by this man and yet will still continue to be his dutiful wife was horrifying. I was so proud of her for talking to the strangers when they came to the cabin and listened to herself and escaped when she did.
The fantastical element to the story with the monster I would of liked to be explored a little more. Maybe go into the lore of this creature and why it’s come now. Is it just a coincidence that Mattie comes across the dead fox and can subsequently feel when it’s near or is she just more in tune with her surroundings than everyone else. Is it just a physical representation of William and how monstrous his nature is which turned on him in the end?
The setting and atmosphere really played a big role in this book. The insular setting really showcases just how isolated Mattie has been from the rest of the world and restricts her from any chance of escape most of the time. There was just this overlying sense of dread and helplessness woven into the story that sets the tone of the rest of the plot and how it plays out.
⭐️4/5 stars This was heart wrenching!