From the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box and Malorie comes a haunting tale of love and mystery, as the date of a lifetime becomes a maddening exploration of the depths of the heart.
“Malerman expertly conjures a fairy tale nostalgia of first love, and we follow along, all too willingly, ignoring the warning signs even as the fear takes hold.”—Lit Reactor
The story begins: young lovers, anxious to connect, agree to a first date, thinking outside of the box.
At seventeen years old, James and Amelia can feel the rest of their lives beginning. They have got this summer and this summer alone to experience the extraordinary.
But they didn’t expect to find it in a house at the bottom of a lake.
The house is cold and dark, but it’s also their own.
Caution be damned, until being carefree becomes dangerous. For the teens must decide: swim deeper into the house—all the while falling deeper in love?
Whatever they do, they will never be able to turn their backs on what they discovered together. And what they learned:
Just because a house is empty, doesn’t mean nobody’s home.
Bird Box author Malerman leaves readers with more questions than answers with this eerie, atmospheric horror novel. Teenagers James and Amelia spend their first date getting acquainted while winding their way through two idyllic lakes in a canoe. They discover a secret passage through a rocky tunnel to an uncharted third lake that seems to be untouched by humanity save for the fully intact house they spot at the bottom of its depths. Intrigued, they make plans to return with scuba gear to explore. Diving deep into the building's depths, James and Amelia learn more about both the house and themselves while embarking on a whirlwind romance. Malerman masterfully builds tension, balancing the exuberance of first love with the foreboding mystery of the house. The uncanny elements and strange, evocative setting will keep readers flipping pages, but the atmosphere never gives way to more visceral scares and the underwhelming resolution leaves the mystery dangling. Readers shouldn't expect any concrete thrills, but fans of Malerman's precise prose will be pleased to explore this new and unsettling world.