4 of 5 stars.
Included in Chronology published by Curiosity Quills Press, this tale compellingly captures and balances a complex array of psychological states: being trapped with someone that you thought you were attracted to but have quickly grown to detest, being many days and miles lost into the Appalachian woods at night in late October, and rationalizing the supernatural mountain lore handed down through the generations.
Susan more than regrets her decision to join Barry on a fly-fishing, hiking, and camping trip on the Appalachian Trail, not least because he keeps calling her Anna Beth–the last girl he took out here who’s also smiling out of the photo taped to Barry’s dashboard. Barry, despite his LL Bean Maine upbringing, is not as nature-savvy as he had boasted. He cannot even read his pricey compass. After losing track of both the miles and days, they come to realize that it’s Halloween, they’re lost, and the woods are seeming to come alive.
This psychological trip goes further than I thought it could go without upsetting my suspension of disbelief. It is highly recommended.
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