Twenty years ago, Catherine Whitley was the victim of a horrible crime. Betrayed by her friends, including the boy she loved, she was left to die when the Rock Harbor Opera House caught fire, taking a disturbing secret with her to her grave. Seventeen-year-old Heath Ingram was driving the night his Jeep careened off the road, killing three of his closest friends. Once a popular, outgoing athlete, Heath now suffers from severe depression and crippling anxiety. His parents decide to send him to stay with his uncle in Rock Harbor, Oregon for the summer, praying that by getting away he will be able to put this awful tragedy behind him. When Heath starts working at the newly renovated Rock Harbor Opera House, he meets Molly, a young dancer who awakens in him a desire to start over and move on. But, when he begins having visions of a half-burned girl in a white dress, he starts to think he may be slipping even further over the edge. As the apparent hauntings become more intense, Heath begins to fear for his safety. With the help of his friend Josie, Heath discovers an unsettling secret that ties the mysterious girl to both their families. When two of their friends die unexpectedly, Josie and Heath realize that something, or someone, is after the children of those who wronged Catherine…and they are next.
The Weeping starts off with one of the most intense first chapters I’ve ever read. You can’t get much more intense then the thought of being caught in a fire, flames licking at you, being burned alive with no means of escape. And Hutchison’s prose makes you feel every word of it with Catherine, I swear I could feel the heat on my face and my fingers. I was riveted. And just when you think there might be a reprieve the first sentence of Chapter 2 hits like a ton of bricks.
I think that like The Vanishing Game, The Weeping is a creepy novel that deals with some serious issues.
Heath arrives at his uncle’s place with some major baggage. He was driving the car that crashed and killed three friends. I loved that Heath’s depression wasn’t portrayed as only “poor me” or a stereotypical version of depression. It was obvious that he had some major issues to work through – as he should for what happened – and it wasn’t as if as soon as he got to his uncle’s house that everything right as roses.
Hutchison treats the reader with respect and doesn’t gloss over things and try to dress them up or make them pretty. I really appreciated that.
I always love books with diary entries and Catherine’s diary added a great touch to the story. To hear her story unfold in her own words was heartbreaking but also fascinating. I thought the pacing was great, we are in the present with Heath and as we learn more about Catherine as they see her in the past, we get to read her diary entries and know what she was going through. This really changed the way I saw Catherine. At first I thought she was sort of a bitch who just couldn’t let go, who had died a very tragic death. The more I read of her diary though, the more I saw her point of view and everything she had been through.
The mystery of the story was an added element that I enjoyed, trying to figure out what Catherine’s ghost was up to and why she was doing things. I love when the past is tied to the present. I was proud of myself for figuring out part of the mystery/puzzle before Heath did but it was still a nice twist to the story that I didn’t see coming until right before Heath came to the same conclusion.
The ending was beautiful and very touching. However, it was a bit abrupt and it made me wish there was more – I actually tried turning the page thinking “that can’t be how it ends!” I think the ending was also sort of left up to the reader’s interpretation but I could be wrong – I know
I interpreted it in a certain way but I’m not sure if others would see it the same. For me, the ending sort of came full circle and I thought it was very fitting.
I would definitely recommend this to fans of ghost stories and mysteries. Creeptastic!
I’m excited that today I have a special post for The Weeping tour. We get to learn several of O’Dell Hutchison’s Shelf Confessions! And read more for the giveaway!
Shelf Confessions: O’Dell Hutchison
- I am the biggest chicken when it comes to anything scary: Movies, books, stories — but I love them. LOVE them. My friends take me to see scary movies in the theatre just to watch my reaction.
- Several times while writing The Weeping, my phone rang as I was deeply involved in a particularly intense scene. I screamed like a little girl on one or more of those occasions.
- I’ve always been a fan of hauntings and ghost stories, and I did a ton of research on different types of hauntings while writing. I then kind of built my own category out of those that I found.
- I wrote at least half, if not more, of The Weeping while at a theatre. I spend my weekends working the box office for a performing arts theatre in Houston. On more than one occasion, weird things have happened to me there. I would frequently get up and walk through the theatre with the lights off to get a sense of what Heath would feel.
- Some of the things that happened to Heath (the power going out, weird sounds, a strange voice coming through the headset) all happened to me, or someone I know.
- I have an unhealthy addiction to Rocky Road ice-cream and Chinese food. (Not mixed together. These are two separate addictions.)
The Weeping Giveaway
Now that you’re completely excited to get a copy of The Weeping for yourself – here’s your chance! This giveaway is for a signed hardcover copy of The Weeping.
Unfortunately this giveaway is open for US/CA residents only. INTL’s there’s another giveaway open for you on my blog – The Lucky Leprechaun Hop!
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