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Mystery/Thriller

You Never Forget Your First Catriona Ward

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Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals (www.booksquadgoals.com). She can be reached at emily.ecm@gmail.com.

Welcome to Read This Book, your go-to newsletter if you’re looking to expand your TBR pile. Each week, I’ll recommend a book I think is an absolute must-read. Some will be new releases, some will be old favorites, and the books will vary in genre and subject matter every time. I hope you’re ready to get reading!

Not gonna lie. This one is more of a “read this author” rather than “read this book.” I could really pick any book from her catalogue and confidently recommend it to you. But since this is the one that I’ve read most recently — and the one I currently can’t get out of my mind — I have to share.

looking glass sound book cover

Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward

The first Catriona Ward book I ever read was The Last House on Needless Street, and it’s probably still my favorite. But having talked to many fans of this author, I’ve learned that most people enjoy their first Catriona Ward book the most. Your first Catriona Ward book is the one that introduces you to the mind-bending world of the author. It’s the book that lets you know that you can absolutely sit back and enjoy the ride, knowing that you’re in good hands. And while you might have moments where you ask yourself what the heck’s going on, you know it’s all going to make sense in the end. And then you’ll want to read it back to figure out what you missed the first time.

That was my experience with The Last House of Needless Street, and that was definitely my experience with Looking Glass Sound, the most loopy, brain-twister of all of Catriona Ward’s novels so far. I will try to sum it up for you, but just know this is only dipping a little toe into what actually goes on in this book.

When Wilder Harlow was young, there was one summer that turned his entire life upside down. It was a summer he will never forget and a traumatic experience from which he still hasn’t been able to completely recover. A killer stalked his small town in Maine, and a tragedy bonded Wilder to his friends Nat and Harper in ways that would forever change them. Now, decades later, Wilder is back in that small town, writing a memoir in the hopes of making sense of that summer. But the longer he spends in the town and the more he writes, the more Wilder feels like he’s losing his grip on reality. And it feels as if the book is somehow writing itself.

Looking Glass Sound is difficult to categorize in terms of genre, but if you like psychological horror and twisty thrillers, this is going to be your kind of story. This novel also serves as a meditation on the art of storytelling. Indeed, the person who controls the narrative controls reality. You’ll see what I mean when you read this and experience the delicious strangeness of this story for yourself.

If Looking Glass Sound ends up being your first Catriona Ward read, I’ll bet it will be your favorite. But I also promise you that you’ll love the rest of them almost as much. So don’t just read this book…read this author!


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