I binge-read The Lingering by SJI Holliday in just two days. My first experience with SJI Holliday was Violet. Violet was a really unique book that was inspired by the author’s personal travel experiences. The Lingering is different from Violet and any other book I’ve ever read for that matter. There is a lot to the story and it all comes together in an ending that will linger in your memories.
The Lingering by SJI Holliday Synopsis
“Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient spiritual commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.”Goodreads
What I Loved About It
When I started reading it, I got a strong Nine Perfect Strangers by Lianne Moriarty vibe. The protagonists move into a psychiatric hospital turned home for a community. The small group of people are all a little quirky and slightly cultish. They are all fed up with the real world and have come together to build something different and happier. I loved exploring this community and it was a breath of fresh air that it didn’t go the typical ‘this is a cult’ route.
There is a lot to explore in this book – a community that has it’s eccentricities, a building with a questionable history, a girl with a strange obsession and a couple with a dark past. Despite everything going on, it is easy to read and there is nothing extra there that doesn’t belong. It all fits together in an addictive book that is hard to put down.
I loved the twists and the powerful female characters. It was a really unique read and there really is
What I Didn’t Love
I didn’t read the synopsis prior to reading this book so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This was so different from the other book I read by the author. While I was really into the book, there was quite a lot going on. Although it all came together and it was never confusing, it was like WHAT every time something new was introduced. I wish some of the less important characters had gotten a little more attention. But we did get to know a handful of them pretty well.
Although it takes a while to figure it out, there were a lot of hints to the big reveal from the beginning. Usually in this genre, there is a bit more suspense before a shocking reveal. I didn’t hate having more buildup, but I do think that there will be people who won’t be as excited. Despite the slower pace, there are still shocking moments even once you know what is going on.
About the Author
Susi (S.J.I.) Holliday grew up near Edinburgh and spent many years working in her family’s newsagent and pub before studying microbiology and statistics at university. She has worked as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry for 20 years. It was on a 6-month round-the-world-trip that she took with her husband several years ago that she rediscovered her passion for writing.
Summary: The Lingering by SJI Holliday
The Lingering by SJI Holliday was a great book that I still think about two weeks after reading it. Perhaps that’s the benefit of not rushing and creating crazy unexpected twists? I’ll find myself sitting around and thinking, ‘but what if…’ which almost never happens. I go through books like I do t-shirts, on a daily basis. So far, I have loved both books I’ve read by SJI Holliday and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store!