They Drown Our Daughters
By: Katrina Monroe
Genres: Gothic Mystery/Thriller
Publication Date: July 7, 2022
Format: E-ARC via NetGalley

Synopsis from GoodReads:

If you can hear the call of the water,
It’s already far too late.

They say Cape Disappointment is haunted. That’s why tourists used to flock there in droves. They’d visit the rocky shoreline under the old lighthouse’s watchful eye and fish shells from the water as they pretended to spot dark shapes in the surf. Now the tourists are long gone, and when Meredith Strand and her young daughter return to Meredith’s childhood home after an acrimonious split from her wife, the Cape seems more haunted by regret than any malevolent force.

But her mother, suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s, is convinced the ghost stories are real. Not only is there something in the water, but it’s watching them. Waiting for them. Reaching out to Meredith’s daughter the way it has to every woman in their line for generations-and if Meredith isn’t careful, all three women, bound by blood and heartbreak, will be lost one by one to the ocean’s mournful call.

Part modern gothic, part ghost story, They Drown Our Daughters explores the depths of motherhood, identity, and the lengths a woman will go to hold on to both.


Review

Thank you to Katrina Monroe, Poisoned Pen Press, and NetGalley for this free e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

They Drown Our Daughters is the contemporary Gothic horror book I didn’t know I was craving. Set in a small town, featuring a lighthouse, a family curse, and dysfunctional mother daughter relationships, I tore through this book in two days.

There is something about “going back home” that has always appealed to me horror novels. The facing of disappointing and sometimes frightening legacies, the layered unraveling of mental health and paranormal experiences, I devour it every single time.

Meredith and her daugher, Alice, have such a special place in my heart now. Meredith and her mother Judith, Judith and her mother Diana, Diana and her mother Bethany, Bethany and her mother Grace, Grace and her mother Regina; Regina, the one who started it all. Each of these women were so hurt and desperate, it was such a journey to witness.

This book is told in multiple timelines. Mostly present day, and then we get snippets of mother daughter relationships along the entire maternal line of the Strands. Monroe does a wonderful job and creating these characters with such compassion and heartbreak, I wanted to huge them all so badly.

The ending, which I won’t spoil, is what got me to tears. The absolute heartache I felt and relief and understanding. I just was in awe.

If you like contemporary Gothic horror mysteries, wrestling with what it means to be a mother, a daughter, and how to survive a legacy of hurt, this book should be on your must read now list.