“Don’t Breathe a Word is a haunting page-turner that kept me up, spine shivering and enthralled, way past my bedtime.”
—Joshilyn Jackson, author of Never Have I Ever
On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.
Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn't fear the dark and doesn't have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam's hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.
“Jennifer McMahon never flinches and never fails to surprise…as [she] weaves a young couple into a perverse fairyland where Rosemary’s Baby could be at home.”
—Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer’s Daughters
Family secrets and fairy lore create a shifting reality in McMahon's unsettling novel about the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl who longed to become Queen of the Fairies. Fifteen years after Lisa goes missing, her younger brother, Sam, gets a strange phone call that leads him and his girlfriend, Phoebe, to discover a book, supposedly written by the King of the Fairies, that Lisa used as her bible to cross over, and which prompts Sam and Phoebe to meet up with Sam's cousin, Evie, to see if they can figure out what happened to Lisa. Nothing is as it seems from that moment on, and Phoebe's longtime fear of a dark man in the shadows seeps back after she discovers, in true woo-woo fashion, that she is pregnant. McMahon (Promise Not to Tell) alternates between the past and present with loads of portent and foreshadowing, creating a rural Vermont chiller with a Rosemary's Baby vibe, but even after a surprising villainess emerges and more than a few disquieting passages about Lisa are burned through, many readers will remain in the dark.
Don't Breathe A Word
Very good & addictive. McMahon's books would make good movies.
The beginning was intriguing and got me hooked but the longer it went the more ridiculous it got. The ending was disappointing and predictable to say the least and overall I just couldn't wait for this book to end. The overuse of curse words, I feel, was unjustified and, frankly, a major turn off.
This is my least favorite of Jennifer McMahon's books, but to be fair, I don't enjoy reading fantasy. While reading, I was never quite sure what the book wanted to be. After I finished, I still am not sure. I suppose the reader can interpret this novel individually. Most of the characters in the book aren't very likable, although the main character is. There were many interesting twists and turns, almost too many because the plot became almost ridiculous. If you like fantasy, you might enjoy this book more than I did.