I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Nesting by C.J. Cooke
Genres: Horror, Gothic
Published by HarperCollins on September 29, 2020
Buy on Amazon
The woods are creeping in on a nanny and two young girls in this chilling modern Gothic thriller.
Architect Tom Faraday is determined to finish the high-concept, environmentally friendly home he's building in Norway – in the same place where he lost his wife, Aurelia, to suicide. It was their dream house, and he wants to honor her with it.
Lexi Ellis takes a job as his nanny and immediately falls in love with his two young daughters, especially Gaia. But something feels off in the isolated house nestled in the forest along the fjord. Lexi sees mysterious muddy footprints inside the home. Aurelia's diary appears in Lexi's room one day. And Gaia keeps telling her about seeing the terrifying Sad Lady…
Soon Lexi suspects that Aurelia didn't kill herself and that they are all in danger from something far more sinister lurking around them.
We couldn’t go through October without buddy reading a horror book! I think we might have both not been a huge fan of this one but you best go check out Barb’s review at Booker T’s Farm to see!
Here is what I thought
I think when it comes to gothic horror I am very hit or miss on it and it wasn’t till I was reading this book that I became aware of it.!
It starts off rocky with the MC trying to commit suicide and so right off the bat I am not a huge fan of the MC. I am thinking great this is going to be a good one. Lexi isn’t have a great go of things and she has some kind of mental illness because it makes mention of her thinking the toaster is talking to her at one point. Then her long term boyfriend has had enough and kicks her out and so she has no place to go and no money. She over hears a woman on a train talking about a nanny job she is thinking about taking and hatches a plan to take her place.
So for Lexi to take the nanny job she has to become Sophie who was the one inquiring about job. It’s in Norway which is fine with Lexi/Sophie because she has no family that really matters (she has a mother but they don’t get along well). She finds out she is taking a job to watch two young girls as Tom is a recent widower and working on a big housing project dedicated to his late wife who had committed suicide.
While Lexi/Sophie is there trying to figure out how to be a nanny because she has never done anything like that before some strange things happen. Gaia the oldest girl is a bit strange to because she talks about a sad lady with no eyes. To be honest everyone in the house is a bit strange, but there is a lot of superstition surrounding some things that has been happening at the worksite because of some things Tom did.
It’s based on some nordic folklore and you get a story at the beginning about an Elk which was interesting but hard to figure out how that has to do with anything till close to the end. Then I was still not real sure about things. Though it’s told in third person you get select chapters from both Lexi/Sophie dealing with the household and trying to figure out Nannying and cooking vegan and the Tom with his working on the housing project.
It is definitely a very slow going gothic horror that isn’t really spooky or anything but does have a bit of atmosphere and even though I felt like nothing was happening I was still curious to see what was going on. Was there spooks in the house or was Tom a bad person or someone else that was in the house doing it, etc. If that is your kind of thing then you will probably like this a bit more than I did.
I wasn’t a fan of any of the main characters except for Gaia even though she is a very strange child. Coco was to young to really like or hate. I loved Louis the Teddy Bear too because the little girl makes it seem like he talks sometimes which was funny. I found it strange too that Lexi/Sophie was seen as this huge mental case in the beginning that couldn’t get herself together but then she takes the Nanny job and it seems like she never had any problems. I found that weird as if the author just forget she made her kind of super unreliable and now she is taking care of kids no problem!
Overall, I thought it was slow but at the same time I wanted to see what happened so it wasn’t super dull. I am not sure if I liked the ending or not. Could I recommend it? Yeah, I think it has it’s audience even if that isn’t really me. I know a lot of people who like a slow burn, atmospheric read with spooky vibes but not really scary horror.
I would probably give this more of a 2.75 but rounded up to 3.