Liar: Memoir of a Haunting by E.F. Schraeder

Book Cover

Publisher:

Date of publication: February 22, 2021

Genre: LGBTQ+, Horror

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Who doesn’t crave a little escape? Dreaming of small-town life and rural charm, Alex and Rainey find a deal on an old rustic home they can’t resist. But soon after Rainey moves, her preoccupation with weird local history and the complications of living alone in the woods take a toll. Alex worries that the long nights and growing isolation are driving her stir crazy. When the Sugar House is damaged and Rainey goes missing, Alex doesn’t know where to turn. Was it a storm, vandals, or something worse? What happened at the Sugar House? The only thing worse than wondering is finding out.


First Line:

All we wanted was a cabin in the woods. We didn’t want this story.

liar: memoir of a haungting by e.f. schraeder

When I first read the blurb for Liar: Memoir of a Haunting, I was a little intrigued. I have read horror, and I have read LGBTQIA+. But, in all the years that I have been book blogging, I don’t think that I have ever read the two together. So, ultimately, that is why I decided to review Liar. I am glad I did, but I will warn, this book might not be for everyone.

The plotline for Liar: A Memoir of a Haunting is interesting. Rainey and Alex are a queer couple looking to move to a place that is more accepting of their lifestyle. They settle on Vermont, a state that has always been more accepting of alternative lifestyles. After seeing multiple houses, they are shown Sugar House. They fall in love with the house and the more laid-back lifestyle. But things aren’t what they seem at Sugar House. When Rainey finds a strange journal that has mad rambling about aspens and a space between the worlds, she slowly starts moving her mind. What happens to Rainey and Alex? Is Sugar House haunted, or is it all in Rainey’s head?

Liar: A Memoir of a Haunting is a slow-burn book. It starts off slow and keeps up the slow pace for 90% of the book. The plotline didn’t get going until Alex showed up at Sugar House after Rainey went missing. At that point, it did pick up and kept a steady, medium pace until the end of the book. I enjoyed it and I feel that the flow of the book would have been interrupted if it went any faster.

The book is told from a dual point of view, Rainey and Alex. The book’s primary focus is Rainey and her deteriorating mental health, but some chapters were told from Alex’s POV. I felt that those added some extra depth to both characters. I got to see what was going on with Rainey from some else’s perspective.

Mental health is a significant part of Liar: A Memoir of a Haunting. Rainey has issues that she is working on when she moves to Vermont. Those issues come to a head during her time at the house. At points, the author made me wonder if Rainey is haunted, or is it all in her head? By the end of the book, I was still wondering that.

The horror angle of Liar: A Memoir of a Haunting is very subtle and gradual. There were points in the book where I wondered if Rainey’s isolation was messing with her head or if something was going on. That is what made me like this book the most. You didn’t know. Tie in the mental health angle made for a fantastic read.

Also interwoven in Liar: A Memoir of a Haunting is the story of Rainey and Alex’s relationship. I thought they had a great relationship at the beginning of the book, but I knew by the middle that it was in trouble. I know how hard it is to have a partner who travels. My SO of 17 years travels all the time for work (3 days a week, every week), and it sucks. But I have three children and live in a populated area while Rainey was alone and living in isolation. That is a huge difference, showing Rainey’s worsening mental state.

The end of Liar: Memoir of a Haunting was interesting. The author wrapped the storyline so that I wondered what happened. It also wasn’t ended on a HEA. Instead, it ended with two people trying to find each other and figure out what happened at Sugar House.

I would recommend Liar: Memoir of a Haunting to anyone over 16. It is a clean book with very subtle scares. There is language, some mild violence, and some mild gore.

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