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Book Review: Other People’s Clothes

This debut novel by Calla Henkel will have you glued to the pages. Other People’s Clothes follows two NYU art students on a study abroad trip to Berlin where they try to make a name for themselves while attempting to suss out the intentions of their infamous author landlord. This novel starts slow but morphs into a psychological thriller that will leave you with whiplash.

“Hoping to escape the pain of the recent murder of her best friend, art student Zoe Beech finds herself studying abroad in the bohemian capital of Europe–Berlin. Zoe, rudderless, relies on the arrangements of fellow exchange student Hailey Mader, who idolizes Warhol and Britney Spears and wants nothing more than to be an art star. On Craigslist, Hailey unknowingly stumbles on an apartment sublet posted by a well-known thriller writer. Feeling as though they’ve won the lottery, the girls move into the high-ceilinged prewar flat. Soon they realize that their landlady, Beatrice, who is supposed to be on a residency in Vienna, is watching them–and her next book appears to be based on their lives. Taking stock of their mundane routines–Law and Order binges and nightly nachos–Hailey insists they become people worthy of a novel. As the year unravels and events spiral out of control, they begin to wonder whose story they are living, and how will it end? Other People’s Clothes is brilliant on the sometimes dangerous intensity of female friendships, on millennial life in the city, on the lengths people will go to in order to eradicate emotional pain” (From SELCO catalog).

Other People’s Clothes is a character driven novel with wonderful atmosphere; perfect for the upcoming film adaptation!

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

Book jacket cover of The Cabin at the End of the WorldIt’s October, which means Halloween, which means it’s a great month to talk about horror books. One of the best horror novels of the year so far comes from Paul Tremblay. Publisher’s Weekly wrote “[t]he apocalypse begins with a home invasion in this tripwire-taut horror thriller. Eric and Andrew are vacationing with their seven-year-old daughter, Wen, at remote Gaudet Lake in New Hampshire when their cabin is invaded by a quartet of weapons-wielding strangers, each of whom has been driven there by a shared vision: that the world will end unless one member of this family sacrifices another. That sets the stage for an excruciatingly tense standoff between them and their prisoners as they try to outmaneuver one other. Tremblay  skillfully seeds his tale with uncertainties, including news reports of portentous world catastrophes, that suggest the invaders’ vision is genuine, and he introduces enough doubt into the beliefs and behaviors of all the parties to keep them and the reader off-balance. His profoundly unsettling novel invites readers to ask themselves whether, when faced with the unbelievable, they would do the unthinkable to prevent it.”

Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy

Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy

From Library Journal: “Roy’s second psychological crime novel (after the Edgar Award-winning Bent Road) dissects the lives and interactions of the families who reside on Alder Avenue, Detroit, in the 1950s. When a black woman is found dead near the local factory, her murder causes varying degrees of anxiety among the novel’s women. Then young, disabled Elizabeth, from their own neighborhood, goes missing and the community mounts a massive search to bring her home. The tale that begins to evolve, through alternating perspectives, paints a dark and desolate picture of the residents of Alder Avenue. Roy skillfully delves into each character’s inner state to uncover why the death and disappearance, respectively, of the two women affect each of them so differently. Roy’s troubling novel leaves readers guessing until the end. It will appeal strongly to those fascinated by the psychological aspects of violent crimes and the motivations of those who commit them.”