In the month of October I picked up a couple of YA horror novels to help me get in the mood for Halloween. For whatever reason, I ended up reading one of them, Cuckoo Song by Francis Hardinge, in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn’t sleep. It took me a while to finish, and it was almost Thanksgiving by the time I did.
So my timing ended up being off for a horror story, but that’s okay, because Cuckoo Song isn’t really a horror story per se, although it’s pretty creepy and definitely has some twisted elements. Cuckoo Song tells the story of Triss, a perpetually ill child who’s sheltered by overly protective parents. Her older brother has just perished in World War I and her younger sister seems to harbor a thinly-veiled hatred for Triss. The book opens with Triss having suffered a terrible accident but being unable to remember any real details of the incident. She finds herself ravenously hungry, but normal food won’t satisfy her hunger–instead, she resorts to eating dolls and scraps of dresses. Weird, right? It only gets stranger.