I didn’t know what to expect when I started Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins. I hadn’t read anything by her, but I’m always down to try new authors. That’s how you find more of your favorites, after all. Fortunately, I ended up really liking this one!
A quick synopsis: Fern, a woman battling anxiety and paranoia, returns to her small hometown when her parents ask for help moving out of their family home.
In town, she comes across a memoir written by a woman who was abducted from a nearby town many years ago. As confusing memories start to resurface for Fern, she learns the woman has been abducted again, and she feels compelled to help find the missing woman.
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins: My Thoughts
This is one of those books you could pick up and find yourself finishing in one sitting.
The writing was easy and engaging (with lots of thrills), and Collins touches on a lot of interesting themes surrounding childhood and memory.
- It was easy to get invested in the story right away. Some books are slow to start, but this one hooked me from the beginning!
- I loved the small town vibes. From the general store to the diner to the ominous woods, I was here for all of it.
- The main character, Fern, is relatable. I’ve felt paranoia and anxiety like she does at times (for example, worrying about every possible scenario that could happen), though it’s much more extreme for her.
- (No spoilers – this is mentioned very early on) It was interesting – and heartbreaking – to delve into the effects of emotional neglect on children, and how easy it is to convince them it’s not “abuse” if it isn’t physical.
What I didn’t love as much:
- Some parts/characters felt a little unbelievable (but this didn’t stop me from enjoying the story!).
- It was frustrating at times how fragile Fern was, and how many secrets she kept from the people who cared about her. But I can also understand why she acted this way.
Overall, a solid psychological thriller about fear, memory, and trauma, and rife with spooky, small town vibes. Entertaining and un-putdownable!
RATING: 4 (out of 5) stars
(Publication date: August 4th, 2020. Thank you to Atria Books for the review copy!)
Looking for more awesome books to read? Check out my list of the best new books of summer 2020!