I’m really enjoying reading horror stories this month. The Girl from the Well wasn’t on my official TBR, but it was recommended to me. It felt wrong not to include it in the run up to Halloween.
From the blurb:
The dead do not always rest…
Okiku knows anger and pain. They are what she last felt before her life was brutally taken from her more than 300 years ago. Now a restless spirit, she wanders, seeking out those who viciously take the lives of children. Okiku always gets her vengeance. She has no remorse for the wicked.
Until she meets 17 year old Tark…
Okiku is a vengeful spirit. She was murdered 300 years ago and now finds purpose in hunting down and killing those who have hurt and murdered children.
Over the centuries Okiku has learnt how to escape the ties that bind her to her native Japan, and now travels wherever she senses the trapped spirits of murdered children.
In her travels she meets 15 year old Tark. He’s not 17. Tark is an American boy, but Okiku feels a sense of kinship to him. Tark is covered in strange tattoos that seem to move. He is having trouble adjusting to a new school, as well as coping with what happened to him as a child. As she watches him she starts to realise that there is something evil inside him, which when it escapes will cause the deaths of many more souls.
I don’t want to say too much about the book, because spoilers, but I really enjoyed it. Okiku is the protagonist which gives the book an interesting spin. Okiku views herself from the first and third person, which makes it difficult to get into at first, but once you do you can’t stop reading.
There are two Okiku’s, the young servant girl who was killed three centuries ago and the vengeful spirit who hangs from the ceiling, tears out spleens and generally scares the crap out of everyone.
Throughout the book Okiku becomes more human, she feels a need to protect Tark and it overcomes her vengeful nature. I have added a link to the book trailer below, as I think it gives you a sense of the books tone.
Because the book is narrated by the ghost, I don’t think it was really scary, it’s more unsettling. If you like Japanese horror films, or remakes such as The Grudge and The Ring you will love this book. I can highly recommend it as a good Halloween read.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.