The New York Times bestselling author of A Simple Favor brings her “sly, satirical, subversive” (L.S. Hilton, author of Ultima) prose to a pitch-perfect psychological suspense novel about a young couple whose disintegrating marriage and remote new home in rural, upstate New York make for a terrifying descent into the darker side of human nature.
When Emma’s husband, Ben, falls in love with a large Victorian mansion for sale in upstate New York, he swears to her the fixer-upper will be worth the risk. With a baby on the way, Emma would like to live in a charming, safe community, after all—and in a space larger than a one-bedroom New York City apartment. On impulse, she agrees to Ben’s plan and they put in an offer on the house.
Sure, the mansion has a somewhat creepy backstory and is a bit dilapidated, but Emma and Ben are in this together, aren’t they? When strange things start happening, Emma begins to experience a little buyer’s remorse. What’s the real history of this house? Is its dark history repeating itself? Why does her husband suddenly seem so distant? Is she in danger? Is her baby?
Combining the domestic anxiety of Liane Moriarty and the haunting twists and turns of Shirley Jackson, All I Want is an intensely absorbing novel that will change the way you look at your neighbors.
At the start of this convoluted domestic thriller from bestseller Bell (A Simple Favor), Emma, an artist, and Ben, her Broadway producer husband, are celebrating her birthday at a Brooklyn restaurant when he announces he has fallen in love with a dilapidated Victorian mansion in upstate New York. Emma, who's pregnant, eventually agrees it would be the perfect place to raise a family, though it was once a mental hospital for actors. After the couple settle in and start renovations, strains develop between them as Ben gradually spends more time in the city for his job and Emma grows increasingly attracted to their contractor. Emma suspects the house may be haunted after stumbling on such frights as the diary of a disturbed former patient that mysteriously disappears. Ben and their neighbors think she's hallucinating due to pregnancy hormones and don't take her fears seriously. The horror elements help raise the tension, as do adroit point of view shifts, but the action builds to an ambiguous conclusion that will leave readers scratching their heads. Bell has done better. Agent: Denise Shannon, Denise Shannon Literary.