“DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK. Authentically terrifying.” —Stephen King
A LibraryReads Top 10 Pick!
STARRED review from Publishers Weekly!
Recommended by Bustle, USA Today, CNN, i09, The Nerd Daily, LitReactor, GoodReads, LitHub, and more!
Sundial is a new, twisty psychological horror novel from Catriona Ward, internationally bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street.
You can't escape what's in your blood...
All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. But Rob fears for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind.
She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice.
Callie is worried about her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely, and speaks of past secrets. And Callie fears that only one of them will leave Sundial alive…
The mother and daughter embark on a dark, desert journey to the past in the hopes of redeeming their future.
"Ward coaxes Rob’s gruesome past open like a toxic flower. ...And yet at its core, Sundial is about resilience. …And that, in itself, is an unthinkable feat." —The New York Times Book Review
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Something deeply unsettling occurs in almost every scene of Catriona Ward’s trippy modern gothic. In the book’s opening chapters, we are introduced to “Rob the teacher who lives in the suburbs with [her] handsome sciencey professor husband” and the couple’s two young daughters, Annie and Callie. Rob and Irving’s marriage is a horror show of resentments, infidelity, and cruelty; their older daughter, Callie, “likes to talk about murder at breakfast.” Fearing for her frail younger daughter’s safety—and eager to get away from Irving—Rob whisks away Callie to her childhood home in the bleak California desert, where things get even more sinister. As she did with her bestseller The Last House on Needless Street, Ward proves herself to be a master of weirdness and ominous suspense with a keen sense of the way trauma reverberates through a life. We couldn’t put Sundial down, even though we were frightened of what secrets were about to be unearthed.
With this masterful horror novel, Ward (The Last House on Needless Street) weaves a seething, hallucinatory tale of family, death, and hereditary trauma that will keep readers guessing all the way to the devastating conclusion. Rob has spent years distancing herself from Sundial, her enigmatic childhood home nestled deep in the Mojave Desert, finding comfort and normalcy in playing the role of dutiful wife and mother of two. But when her haunted, volatile daughter, Callie, shows signs that she might be heir to the horrors that Rob has spent so long trying to escape, Rob and Callie must venture back into the Mojave to exorcise the ghosts of Rob's past before they destroy her family's future. Ward's brilliance lies in how she explicates the innate bizarreness of a child's experience of the world and explores the small cruelties that families are uniquely capable of visiting upon one another through intimacies accumulated and treated as ammunition. The queasy narrative gives its characters plenty of space to explore their unreal circumstances without ever sacrificing momentum, and while the ending skillfully ties together the many threads, it never offers easy answers. This is a must-read for fans of gothic literature and taut psychological thrillers.