Driftwood by Schylor Chadwick is a tragic horror about family secrets finally coming to light.
~~~~Some Spoilers Ahead!~~~~
Albert’s life had seen its share of tragedy. Orphaned at six, he was raised by his grandparents on their large farm in rural Arkansas. When his grandparents pass on, they leave the farm to Albert, who promptly moves in with his new bride. But returning to his childhood home was difficult for Albert, and seeing the family’s lake again begins to stir up memories of his imaginary friend: a young girl named Hannah. Albert puts her out of his mind and focuses on the new life he’s about to create, but he’s unsettled all the same. To calm his mind, Albert decides to take up woodcarving again, and he teaches Jessie how to do the same with a bit of driftwood from the lake. When Jessie begins carving a doll from a peculiar bit of driftwood, it sets off a chain of events that no one saw coming. Jessie and Albert soon begin to take on the secrets of their past as they try to figure out who Hannah really was. After all, imaginary friends can have secrets too, and secrets are bad. Very bad.
This is one of the few books that I’ve picked up and read in a single sitting. Part of it was for lack of time, but mostly it was because I couldn’t put it down! Albert and Jessie have great chemistry between them, and the glimpses that we get of other characters make the world complete. Hannah’s story is a tragic one, and the visions that Albert gets are both creative and horrifying.
I like that the action begins slowly and builds up towards the climax. At first, it’s more of an uncomfortable tingle in the back of their mind, but it quickly works it’s way into a full-blown nightmare for the Lane couple. The mystery is nicely entwined into the family, and it was heartbreaking to see Albert loose another bit of himself to the secrets. Jessie’s story is also tragic, and she bonds so well with Hannah that I almost thought they would turn out to be related somehow.
I do have one complaint. There were commas everywhere, and they interrupted the flow of the story a few times, but it’s nothing that really takes away from the overall experience.
I give this book a solid 4 of 5. It started out as a mystery into the identity of an imaginary friend, but it quickly grew into a story about self-discovery and the realization that you can never truly bury your secrets, no matter how hard you try.
About the Author:
William Schylor Chadwick is an Arkansas native who has written short stories and poems since he was a small child. Nurtured by his Grandmother and Mother, Chadwick pursued his passion until he debuted with The Rabbitry in 2014. Since then, he has written Tommy, Driftwood, and Rain, his most recent title. For more information about this author or his works, you can visit his Website, his Amazon Page, or visit him on Facebook. If you’d like a copy of Driftwood for yourself, check out the link below!