Claire, a private and outwardly content librarian, carries a secret: she is wracked with guilt over her twin brother Sam's accidental death fifteen years earlier. Claire's quiet life is threatened when Justin, an aggressive business developer, announces the renovation of Farmington's oldest textile factory, which is the scene of Sam's death along with many other mysterious accidents throughout its long history. Claire not only feels a personal connection to the factory, but she also begins to receive "visitations" from her brother, which cause her to question her sanity. As Justin moves forward with his plans to renew the factory, Claire, and the town as a whole, discover that in Farmington, there is no clear line between the past and the present.
Letitia Trent grew up in Vermont and Oklahoma, and studied at Ohio State University. Her first novel, Echo Lake, is available from Dark House Press/Curbside Splendor. Trent's work has appeared in the Denver Quarterly, the Black Warrior Review, Fence, diode, Sou'Wester, Folio, the Journal, Mipoesias, Ootoliths, Blazevox, and many others. Her first full-length poetry collection, One Perfect Bird, is available from Sundress Publications. Her chapbooks include You aren't in this movie (dancing girl press), Splice (Blue Hour Press) and The Medical Diaries (Scantily Clad Press). She was the 2010 winner of the Alumni Flash Writing Award from the Ohio State University's the Journal and has been awarded fellowships from The Vermont Studio Center and the MacDowell Colony. Her chapbook, The Women In Charge, will be out from dancing girl press in 2015. Trent lives in Colorado with her husband, son, and three cats.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I grew up near a large mill in South Carolina so I am aware of the ominous presence large factories can have on a town or neighborhood. Especially when they are closed, which by the 80's and 90's was most of the time. While this story is about a factory, it is more of a tale of incredible grief.
Claire loses her twin brother in a traumatizing fashion after he falls into the basement of a factory and dies. This scene in the book is brutally heart wrenching. Claire never really recovers from this and lives a pretty solitary life as an adult. Kevin, A savvy business developer, comes to town and decides he is going to encourage his company to remodel the factory into a trendy new coffee shop called Beans. Claire does not want this to happen, as do the others in town who lost loved ones to the factory. The factory has a tradition of killing the loved one of others in town as well. When he brother starts to haunt her again she realizes that she must to something to stop the...
With her sharply observed, uniquely economical yet evocative style, Trent continues to illuminate the “negative space” between people as they attempt to reach out and understand one another. The plot climax left me breathless, exhilarated, while the time-echoing pattern of attempts to situate one’s internal turmoil and locked headspace vis a vis hapless other people haunted me as much as the characters. Much like the hometown Trent astutely notes you both never fully return to and can never truly leave, this book has an undeniable presence that stays with you.
Loved this book. Loved the characters. Loved the reading experience. My favorite kind of novels are those that take no effort to read--the words just flow right off the page into my brain and seamlessly form vivid images, emotions, and visceral recognition. Almost Dark is one of those novels. I picked it up and didn't put it down until I was done. Highly recommend this to anyone who likes horror, but also enjoys depth and introspection.
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