Review: The Birthing House

Author Christopher Ransom and I exchanged emails when he was getting ready to send me copies of his Debut novel. He wanted me to know this wasn’t your typical book club selection! I was game since I’m trying to expand my horizons this summer.

In 2004, with their three rescued pound mutts—Cowboy, Nacho, and Tater-Tot—in tow, Chris and his wife relocated to a 140-year-old former birthing house in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Working as a copywriter for Famous Footwear in Madison, Chris spent the next three years conceiving and delivering his first novel, The Birthing House, which was recently published by the Sphere imprint of Little, Brown, in the UK, and will be released by St. Martin's Press in the US on August 4, 2009. (source: author website)

Let me start my saying this book isn’t scary, I didn’t have any issues reading this book. It the story of a couple; the husband buys a house in Wisconsin on a whim after receiving some inheritance money and wanting to find a way to save his marriage. He and his wife move from LA to the small town. Conrad’s wife quickly leaves on a work assignment and we follow Conrad on his twisted story. Is the house haunted, you have to read it to find out!

If you are looking for an entertaining light thriller, this is a smart, quick read.
Type: Fiction, 320 pages, Hardcover

It was expecting them.

Conrad and Joanna Harrison, a young couple from Los Angeles, attempt to save their marriage by leaving the pressures of the city to start anew in a quiet, rural setting. They buy a Victorian mansion that once served as a haven for unwed mothers, called a birthing house. One day when Joanna is away, the previous owner visits Conrad to bequeath a vital piece of the house’s historic heritage, a photo album that he claims “belongs to the house.” Thumbing through the old, sepia-colored photographs of midwives and fearful, unhappily pregnant girls in their starched, nineteenth-century dresses, Conrad is suddenly chilled to the bone: staring back at him with a countenance of hatred and rage is the image of his own wife….

Thus begins a story of possession, sexual obsession, and, ultimately, murder, as a centuries-old crime is reenacted in the present, turning Conrad and Joanna’s American dream into a relentless nightmare.

An extraordinary marriage of supernatural thrills and exquisite psychological suspense, The Birthing House marks the debut of a writer whose first novel is a terrifying tour de force.

“As exceptional debut… Ransom’s style mimics that of the early Stephen King and Dan Simmon’s horror fiction: - Library Journal

“A biting and well-written novel…The kind of genuinely scray story that makes little hairs stand up on the back of your neck… - Peter Blauner, author of Slipping into Darkness