Book Review: “Everything Under” by Daisy Johnson

everything underOne day lexicographer Gretel receives a call from her mother, who abandoned her as a teen, beseeching her to find her. She knows exactly where to look, and returns to the place she grew up, in a houseboat in the woods. Upon reuniting she brings her mother to live with her, and discovers a woman in the beginnings of dementia, and a flood of memories of her old life on the river. In particular, one winter in which a runaway boy came to stay with them, while a mysterious creature they referred to as the bonak stalked the shores. In her quest to discover what became of the boy, why her mother abandoned her, and what the bonak was, she will wind up unearthing many dark secrets. This was a highly engaging novel, with evocative writing, that gives the whole story a dream-like quality. The characters are engaging, and despite some of the weirdness that surrounds them, they can be easy to relate to, Gretel in particular. The story is an odd one, but that’s to be expected when it’s based on Greek mythology, and it uses that classical inspiration to discuss a lot of both modern and timeless issues very intelligently. This is a book that will linger in your thoughts long after you’ve turned the final page. ★★★★★ – Sean Farrell

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook

★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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