I tend to read mostly fantasy and romance, but every now and then, something else will catch my eye. That’s exactly what happened with The Cherished by Patricia Ward.
Josephine Lavoie gets the shock of a lifetime when she finds out that her absent grandmother has passed away - and that she’s been named in her will, inheriting her house and her land. When she arrives at the house, things aren’t quite what they seem. The tenants are odd and she feels and overall sense of dread. As she spends more time in town and around the farm, the memories from her childhood start to come back, making her wonder if her father wasn't as crazy as everyone made him out to be.
This book is compared to the film Midsommar (which I loved) and it does have that same feel of “I know something is off, but I can’t quite place my finger on it.” The story unfolds slowly, leading up to the big reveal of what the mysterious presence is at the farm. While I was sucked into the story and couldn’t stop reading, the suspense didn’t really feel palpable, the stakes didn’t really feel high. I’m not sure what it was about it, but I felt like I should be more anxious than I was while reading (which could be a good or bad thing depending on the person!)
Going into this story, I was worried it would be one that I wouldn’t be able to read while sitting in bed at night as I was expecting a horror/thriller vibe and I’m a big scaredy cat. Thankfully, that was not the case. The book felt a bit more mystery than thriller, though I can see where it was trying to be a thriller. I never once felt on edge or like the characters were in life and death situations, even during the moments when they were in danger.
If you’re looking for a book with a thriller vibe without actually causing you anxiety, this is the book for you. The plot is there, though I felt like it had a lot of untapped potential, and it was (mostly) easy to understand the character and their actions (but it becomes much clearer the deeper you get into the story). It's not a book that I would probably read again, but I would recommend it if it fit the vibe someone asked me about.
The Cherished by Patricia Ward hits shelves April 18, 2023 and you can preorder a copy here.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well!