Book Review: The Switch House
“𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦; 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘵𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘳𝘶𝘮 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯”
SUMMARY: Angela and Terry return home after several grueling months of filming the popular television show, LET’S SWITCH HOUSES!, only to find their residence in ruin. Sure, the décor and framed photographs are the same; the color of the walls hasn’t changed; the furniture sits unmoved. But something is off. Their quiet New Jersey home feels tainted. Angela can sense it. Crawling inside her. Infecting her mind. Poisoning her thoughts. Then the nightmares begin. Awful, lucid visions that cause her to question her own reality. What happened at 44 Trenton Road while she was gone? Just what did she do, that bizarre woman who claims she can communicate with the beyond? Who is she exactly? Angela aims to find out, but the further she investigates, the deeper into madness she descends. How far will she travel before she loses the trail of clues? Or worse-before she loses her mind.
Briefly, the novella focuses on a husband and wife who recently lost their child to mysterious circumstances (all we know in the beginning is that it appears to be the wife’s fault). To escape their grief the couple go on a reality show called “Switch House” where they switch houses for a couple months with a woman who may or may not be a witch and who may or may not have cursed their home while she lived there. They return home after the show and try to figure out how to resume their normal lives. And that’s when things get really crazy.
I had no idea what I was getting into with this novel. The beginning seems fairly routine (couple suffers trauma, trying to move on but can’t, etc), and I was like okay…then suddenly it hits a hard left out of nowhere and goes bonkers! I remember my mouth literally dropping open when I read this part of the story. I wish I could describe how much that first twist surprised me, and how out of nowhere it was. I was completely hooked after that and the story never let up.
Angela is the protagonist of the story and you can really feel her sense of despair and loneliness. Her husband blames her for the loss of their child and the only person she can talk to is her therapist. She also seems to be the only one noticing the horrors starting to emerge around her. However, as the story progresses it begins to appear as if Angela is an unreliable narrator, and may in fact be hiding a dark secret…
This novella is fantastic! It has many scenes and twists that I did not expect. Seriously there are so many crazy moments, but in the best possible way. It also hits multiple genres (gory horror, nightmarish fantasy, psychological thriller, etc). The concept of the story is also really neat! I loved the idea that a stranger was living in their house and may have cursed it, subverting what is supposed to be their safe place (also meaning surprises could come out of nowhere and I was constantly on edge while reading). If you haven’t read this you need to check it out!