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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Darkling by R B Chesterton


Summary on GoodReads.

Mimi, 21, just finished college and got a job tutoring the rich and beautiful children (Margo, Erin and Donald) of the Hendersons. She also gets to live in their beautiful mansion. Everything is perfect until the day the family takes in 16-year old foster child Annie.

Within minutes of Annie’s arrival, Margot (the eldest) is jealous of Annie and every chance she gets she accuses her mother of preferring “perfect Annie” over her. This struck me as odd because Annie has just gotten there and Margot hadn’t had any chance to see Annie’s perfection in action or her mother fussing over it.

Annie is not the quite, sweet foster child you would think her to be. She says she doesn’t remember where she comes from because she lost her memory. But for someone with no memory Annie seems to remember a lot of things, just not related to her person.

Within a few days of Annie’s arrival Margo goes missing and the perfect family starts falling away. On top of that, there is a creature/nester lurking that only Mimi and Donald are able to see. And this is the part where I got annoyed with the story.

Mostly, Mimi is the one who sees this nester by the window, in the garden… everywhere. She screams either to call attention or for Donald to come inside and away from it. Obviously, when people come running to see what is the problem the creature is gone and Mimi just ends up saying “maybe I jumped to the wrong conclusion,” or “I made a mistake,” because there is nothing there.

And this doesn’t happen once or thrice but throughout the entire book! The story is a constant absurd tension with this creature where almost every chapter ends up with Mimi seeing the creature and then when she looks again or people come to her “there’s nothing there.”

Tension is good, but Chesterton played this too many times. Definitely, the story has too many repetitive scenes of this nature. I was really tired of reading the same Mimi-creature encounter in different settings because the creature never does anything and neither does Mimi!

The writing is kind of entrancing because I was intrigued to know what the hell this nester was or where it came from and what really was up with Annie despite being bored with the sameness.