Title: Devil's Day by Andrew Michael Hurley
Author: Andrew Michael Hurley
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Release Date: April 30, 2019
A new novel by the author of The Loney, which was praised by Stephen King as "an amazing piece of fiction."
In the wink of an eye, as quick as a flea,
The Devil he jumped from me to thee.
And only when the Devil had gone,
Did I know that he and I'd been one . . .
Every autumn, John Pentecost returns to the farm where he grew up, to help gather the sheep down from the moors for the winter. Very little changes in the Endlands, but this year, his grandfather—the Gaffer—has died and John's new wife, Katherine, is accompanying him for the first time.
Each year, the Gaffer would redraw the boundary lines of the village, with pen and paper but also through the remembrance of tales and timeless communal rituals, which keep the sheep safe from the Devil. But as the farmers of the Endlands bury the Gaffer and prepare to gather the sheep, they begin to wonder whether they've let the Devil in after all.
I couldn't connect with this story or the characters. I should have known better and stopped reading it. I tried multiple times to continue reading. I forced myself to finish it when I think I should have quit instead.
Why didn't it work for me?
Mostly, because nothing happens. The prose is so slow that became irritating. The book is very (VERY) descriptive but I felt a lack of substance to the story. I don't think anything important happened in the first 25% of the book. Lastly, the main character was flat to me.
I'll proceed to give you an idea of what the book is about.
John Pentecost is moving back to the Endlands to help his father. He brings his pregnant wife Kat with him. His grandfather, Gaffer recently passed away. The Gaffer had many responsibilities including delineating limits. John is back to the Endlands to help gather the sheep and help them come down from the moors. This is what the residents of the Endlands called the Gathering. The day before the Gathering, they have a celebration called the Devil's Day. Legend says the devil came to the Endlands a hundred years ago and killed many people and the animals too.
As you can see, the story is intriguing from the outside. I thought when I was reading the synopsis that pregnancy and the devil reminded me of Rosemary's Baby but it was nothing like it.
I'm sad this didn't work for me but I'm sure others might enjoy it.
A complimentary copy was provided by Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.