My Darling Dreadful Thing: I bought the romance in this gothic horror love story

My Darling Dreadful Thing by Johanna Van Veen

Johanna Van Veen’s My Darling, Dreadful Thing (2024) is a gothic horror love story set in the 1950’s Netherlands. Lush descriptions and an original, creepy take on spirit companions made this story a seductive, engaging read.

Roos Beckman has had a spiritual companion named Ruth since she was a little girl, when she was first pressed into service by the woman she calls Mama to help fake seances. Crouched in a cubby under the floorboards, Roos pulled ropes and pushed levers to create the effects of spiritual visitation.

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