Monday, November 7, 2011

Children of the Fog by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Published by Imajin Books
Reviewed from Kindle ebook

A parent's worst nightmare—a mother's greatest fear. This story of terror, fear, remorse, and unfulfilled closure is deftly written. The contrast between the sweetness and light at the beginning and the bleak blackness and despair in the midst of the horror is overwhelmingly realistic. The excruciating pain of not knowing, coupled with the feeling of guilt—she should have done things differently, she should have been able to save her child—chews at the mother's insides. This very dark story may seem over the top with other problems running throughout but it is not. Trauma flattens the soul, the voice is still and dead or shrill and frenzied as different parts of the story unfold.

As a mother myself, I found this an emotional book to read, and yet I was mesmerized by it and couldn't put it down. Cheryl Kaye Tardif brings detail and personality to every book she writes. Midway through this story as our protagonist Sadie runs from the myriad upheavals in her life into solitude, a shift in the feel of the book follows her and leads us into a different place, a place of temporary respite from tragedy, bringing us into nature and the natural order of things, however brief it may be. But when Sadie sees glimpses of children and hears childish laughter in the woods, is she hallucinating? Who is leaving her little gifts, and why an onion for goodness sake? What does the crow that taps on her window have to do with anything?

The suspense builds up until it spills over in this tense story. Is it God? Kismet? Fate? Something or someone is driving Sadie deeper and deeper into the fog and dark. She must keep her wits about her to understand what is being shown her. This book tugs at the heart and dredges up our fears and mortality. A tale of innocence and evil well told, with an ending that will both thrill and chill.

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