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When the Reckoning Comes

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A haunting novel about a black woman who returns to her hometown for a plantation wedding and the horror that ensues as she reconnects with the blood-soaked history of the land and the best friends she left behind. More than a decade ago, Mira fled her small, segregated hometown in the south to forget. With every mile she traveled, she distanced herself from her past: from A haunting novel about a black woman who returns to her hometown for a plantation wedding and the horror that ensues as she reconnects with the blood-soaked history of the land and the best friends she left behind. More than a decade ago, Mira fled her small, segregated hometown in the south to forget. With every mile she traveled, she distanced herself from her past: from her best friend Celine, mocked by their town as the only white girl with black friends; from her old neighborhood; from the eerie Woodsman plantation rumored to be haunted by the spirits of slaves; from the terrifying memory of a ghost she saw that terrible day when a dare-gone-wrong almost got Jesse—the boy she secretly loved—arrested for murder. But now Mira is back in Kipsen to attend Celine’s wedding at the plantation, which has been transformed into a lush vacation resort. Mira hopes to reconnect with her friends, and especially, Jesse, to finally tell him the truth about her feelings and the events of that devastating long-ago day. But for all its fancy renovations, the Woodsman remains a monument to its oppressive racist history. The bar serves antebellum drinks, entertainments include horrifying reenactments, and the service staff is nearly all black. Yet the darkest elements of the plantation’s past have been carefully erased—rumors that slaves were tortured mercilessly and that ghosts roam the lands, seeking vengeance on the descendants of those who tormented them, which includes most of the wedding guests.  As the weekend unfolds, Mira, Jesse, and Celine are forced to acknowledge their history together, and to save themselves from what is to come.


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A haunting novel about a black woman who returns to her hometown for a plantation wedding and the horror that ensues as she reconnects with the blood-soaked history of the land and the best friends she left behind. More than a decade ago, Mira fled her small, segregated hometown in the south to forget. With every mile she traveled, she distanced herself from her past: from A haunting novel about a black woman who returns to her hometown for a plantation wedding and the horror that ensues as she reconnects with the blood-soaked history of the land and the best friends she left behind. More than a decade ago, Mira fled her small, segregated hometown in the south to forget. With every mile she traveled, she distanced herself from her past: from her best friend Celine, mocked by their town as the only white girl with black friends; from her old neighborhood; from the eerie Woodsman plantation rumored to be haunted by the spirits of slaves; from the terrifying memory of a ghost she saw that terrible day when a dare-gone-wrong almost got Jesse—the boy she secretly loved—arrested for murder. But now Mira is back in Kipsen to attend Celine’s wedding at the plantation, which has been transformed into a lush vacation resort. Mira hopes to reconnect with her friends, and especially, Jesse, to finally tell him the truth about her feelings and the events of that devastating long-ago day. But for all its fancy renovations, the Woodsman remains a monument to its oppressive racist history. The bar serves antebellum drinks, entertainments include horrifying reenactments, and the service staff is nearly all black. Yet the darkest elements of the plantation’s past have been carefully erased—rumors that slaves were tortured mercilessly and that ghosts roam the lands, seeking vengeance on the descendants of those who tormented them, which includes most of the wedding guests.  As the weekend unfolds, Mira, Jesse, and Celine are forced to acknowledge their history together, and to save themselves from what is to come.

30 review for When the Reckoning Comes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    Mira fled her small and segregated North Carolina town over a decade ago and never looked back. One day she receives an wedding invitation from a white friend she long grew apart from. The venue is the newly renovated Woodsman plantation. Mira still holds memories from an excursion gone awry on the those old grounds that almost cost her friend Jesse his freedom. Mira knows it's a bad idea to stay on these lands that are rumored to be occupied by the ghosts of a slave revolt, but the prospect of s Mira fled her small and segregated North Carolina town over a decade ago and never looked back. One day she receives an wedding invitation from a white friend she long grew apart from. The venue is the newly renovated Woodsman plantation. Mira still holds memories from an excursion gone awry on the those old grounds that almost cost her friend Jesse his freedom. Mira knows it's a bad idea to stay on these lands that are rumored to be occupied by the ghosts of a slave revolt, but the prospect of seeing Jesse again and seeing what could've been fuels her return. It doesn't hurt that her friend Celine is completely funding this trip. As she find herself sipping antebellum themed cocktails by the bar and watching performances by slave reenactors she can't help but notice how privileged she is compared to the other workers. She's very aware of her presence as the sole Black guest among white guests who can blissfully overlook the memories this place holds. Haunting visions of cruel and horrifying acts blend with present day reality and flashbacks of past memories Mira tries is trying to grapple with. There's the shame she felt growing up in a poor Black neighborhood in the part of town that white folks dare not visit. Memories of a mother who saw herself as better than the other Black people held white perception in high regard while drilling that "Good Negro" mindset into Mira. This novel was not what I expected. Going in I just expected the white people to get their comeuppance courtesy of the ghosts that still haunt the land. Which this does deliver on to an extent. But this is also a story about a woman confronting her own anti-Blackness. It's a novel that tackles revisionist history in the US; a reminder to never forget the past and brush aside the true horrors of slavery in all it's gory details. Sometimes it's downplayed just how barbaric it was and how Black people never get justice. Even the ending is quite bittersweet. Not too long ago I used to see the word slavery attached to a story and run in the opposite direction. And like Mira I had to stop disregarding the past because it made me feel uncomfortable. While we can't go back in time and give those people the justice they deserved we can recover what we can of their stories and respect the sacrifices they made to survive. LaTanya McQueen is a skilled writer. I'm not someone who usually has a running picture going throughout my head while reading but there were many times throughout the text I could clearly picture the plantain grounds. And I think reading the words on page while listening to the audio helped me become fully immersed into this story. The interstitial passages in this story were some of the most haunting of all. And the most horrific parts of this story come from the memories of long erased history. This was a truly haunting tale that took an unexpected turn for me. I received an arc from Harper Perennial in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    4.0 Stars This is a well written own voices horror story  that explored topics of race and privilege. I really appreciated the social commentary, which was woven quite seamlessly into the narrative. The horror in this book were fairly quiet and understated. In some ways, this read more like a suspense novel.  I would recommend this one to readers who enjoy character driven stories that tackle heavy and important themes through fiction.  Disclaimer I received a copy of this book from the publisher. 

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Move over Jordan Peele ‘cause there’s a new scary storyteller you’re going to have to share the spotlight with who also adds a little social commentary in with her heebie jeebies. That comparison is probably low hanging fruit, but I never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the box so you get what you get. And seriously if you don’t get at least a little of these vibes . . . . You might be reading it wrong. My friend Laurie/LOHF gets credit for putting this one on my radar. I saw it marked a Move over Jordan Peele ‘cause there’s a new scary storyteller you’re going to have to share the spotlight with who also adds a little social commentary in with her heebie jeebies. That comparison is probably low hanging fruit, but I never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the box so you get what you get. And seriously if you don’t get at least a little of these vibes . . . . You might be reading it wrong. My friend Laurie/LOHF gets credit for putting this one on my radar. I saw it marked as to-be-read by her while scrolling the Goodreads feed and the cover caught my eye so I figured what the hell. Horror isn’t typically my go-to genre (which may be a warning for all of you aficionados that you may not end up loving this), but I think I’m trying to invoke Fall-ish weather rather than the 90+ that we continue to have here in flyover country by lining up all the cozies and creepies. The story here is about Mira who returns to her pretty much segregated even though it’s the present time (gross) town to attend an antebellum style wedding (gross) of a former bestie as pretty much one of two guests who isn’t white (gross). Oh and said wedding is being held at a former plantation (grosser) where an entire staff of black people work doing slave reenactments (grossest). Mira is there because she’s a good (although absent) friend and also to confront her past where one moment ended up changing the life of her friend Jesse monumentally. Little does she know the ghosts she will be confronting are both figurative as well as literal. I dug this book. As I said – I’m not sure who else will love it because it’s kind of out of my usual wheelhouse, but boy oh boy do I appreciate good storytelling and this one really delivered for me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    I'm so torn on the rating for this book - some parts I really loved, others just didn't work for me. So I guess heads up that this is going to be a pretty subjective review! The core idea is fantastic - Mira, who left her small town home years ago, is drawn back by the wedding of her childhood friend. Even before she learns her white friend is having a wedding on a plantation, she has misgivings; when we're given more of her backstory, it starts to become clear that she probably should have liste I'm so torn on the rating for this book - some parts I really loved, others just didn't work for me. So I guess heads up that this is going to be a pretty subjective review! The core idea is fantastic - Mira, who left her small town home years ago, is drawn back by the wedding of her childhood friend. Even before she learns her white friend is having a wedding on a plantation, she has misgivings; when we're given more of her backstory, it starts to become clear that she probably should have listened to them. But what kind of horror would it be if she had? There were just some choices made here that ended up getting right in the way of what could have been an amazing horror novel that made the reader confront all-too-true horrors of the past. There are interludes that were beautifully written, but the main sections were choppy, at times even edging into incoherence, especially towards the end. I never felt properly connected to the characters, either. We're given their histories, events they shared that do absolutely affect them now, but it didn't translate into knowing them. Almost half of the novel is story-setting, too, and I feel like that left the ending rushed. With that aside though - it was absolutely worth reading this book anyway. It's quick, for a start, and some of the writing is just absolutely beautiful in those interludes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Summer Reads

    This book is told from Mira’s point of view. Mira, now a high school teacher is invited back to her hometown of Keplin to the wedding of her childhood friend Celine. Mira who has long since left her hometown grapples with the idea of returning. The wedding will be located on a former plantation turned tourist attraction, where many years ago slaves were rumored to be abused and murdered. Not to mention the fact that Mira saw something at that former plantation that still plagues her. Ghost stori This book is told from Mira’s point of view. Mira, now a high school teacher is invited back to her hometown of Keplin to the wedding of her childhood friend Celine. Mira who has long since left her hometown grapples with the idea of returning. The wedding will be located on a former plantation turned tourist attraction, where many years ago slaves were rumored to be abused and murdered. Not to mention the fact that Mira saw something at that former plantation that still plagues her. Ghost stories are my favorite type of scary stories! I love stories about ghosts, spirits, and places being haunted. Yes, I am one of those cooky people who believe in ghosts. Initially, I picked up this book only to read the first chapter, just to see what the book was about. 2 hours later I found myself fully engrossed and I could not put it down. LaTanya McQueen's writing is nothing short of outstanding. The well-developed plot and multidimensional characters made me feel as if I was a part of the story. McQueen has crafted a story that evoked a multitude of emotions in me, compassion, sorrow, anguish, fear, and anger. When The Reckoning Comes discusses many uneasy topics including race, and white privilege. This book goes in-depth on how throughout history the mistreatment and atrocities inflicted upon African American slaves have always been brushed under the rug and ignored. Many in-depth, graphic portrayals of the horrific violence that was inflicted upon slaves(prior civil war) are in this book but as hard as they were to read, they are a necessary part to the overall story. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of supernatural horror stories and fans of books about fighting systematic opression. If you liked When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole or The Brightlands by John Fram then you will definitely like When The Reckoning Comes. Many thanks to Harper Perennial for the gifted copy!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jess Owens

    I listened to this video audio from Harper Audio in exchange for an honest review. When The Reckoning Comes is a gothic horror novel set in North Carolina. Our main character, Mira, moved away from home after high school and left her friends and all the bad memories back in North Carolina. But now, she’s back. Her childhood friend, Celine, is getting married and her other childhood friend, Jessie, will be there too. Mira was hesitant to go home and for good reason. Once she’s there, she’s remind I listened to this video audio from Harper Audio in exchange for an honest review. When The Reckoning Comes is a gothic horror novel set in North Carolina. Our main character, Mira, moved away from home after high school and left her friends and all the bad memories back in North Carolina. But now, she’s back. Her childhood friend, Celine, is getting married and her other childhood friend, Jessie, will be there too. Mira was hesitant to go home and for good reason. Once she’s there, she’s reminded of the reasons she left: racism being one of the many reasons and possibly ghosts ? First off, this audio is AMAZING. The narrator has a raspy drawl that is perfect for a gothic horror novel and I highly recommend reading it this way. Overall, I enjoyed the story but I wanted more from it. I didn’t feel connected to Mira and that made it hard for me to care what happened to her. There is a ghost element to the story but also I was confused at times if it was actually ghosts or just in Mira’s mind. There are some moments of body horror, so you’ve been warned. And the setting is definitely eerie, especially with the history of the area and the people who are attending the wedding. I think this needed more character depth and a stronger plot. The ending was slightly confusing and rushed to me and in general, it wasn’t “dark” or “horrific” enough for me — that sounds bad. A solid read though and I’ll be interested to read more from this author.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Becky Spratford

    Review appeasr in the June 2021 issue of Library Journal here: https://www.libraryjournal.com/?revie... Three Words That Describe This Book: vengeance, strong sense of place, upsetting Draft Review: Mira, a black girl, Jesse, a black boy, and Celine, a white girl, were inseparable as children, until the night MIra and Jesse went to investigate the ghosts on the long neglected property of the local plantation. Mira and Jesse saw things that no one would believe, and their friendship was destroyed i Review appeasr in the June 2021 issue of Library Journal here: https://www.libraryjournal.com/?revie... Three Words That Describe This Book: vengeance, strong sense of place, upsetting Draft Review: Mira, a black girl, Jesse, a black boy, and Celine, a white girl, were inseparable as children, until the night MIra and Jesse went to investigate the ghosts on the long neglected property of the local plantation. Mira and Jesse saw things that no one would believe, and their friendship was destroyed in the aftermath. Long estranged, Mira returns, at Celine’s request, to attend her wedding to a wealthy man, being held on that now renovated plantation, restored to its former beauty but still haunted by the slaves who were tortured there. This revenge themed Horror, narrated by Mira but with interludes from a Greek Chorus of the slaves speaking from the past, increasing the readers’ anger, and priming all for the bloody retribution about to be unleashed, gives a terrifying new meaning to “reparations.” The engrossing plot is thought provoking and timely as Jesse and Mira come to terms with the immediate supernatural violence and the true horror of being Black in 21st Century America. Verdict: Using the disturbing trend of celebrating happy moments on restored plantations, McQueen ratchets the discomfort up a notch, creating a story where readers actively cheer the angry spirits on. Hand to readers who like horror where systemic oppression and monsters collide such as in The Bright Lands by Fram and The Good House by Due. Notes: An excellent debut horror novel. Revenge horror- ghosts of the slaves from a plantation coming back to get revenge. Great writing but a bit of a rush to close it all up at end. I wanted like 100 more pages once the supernatural action started. But here is what is great because that is a minor quibble. The italic chapters of the ghosts of the slaves speaking as one, as a Greek Chorus. So moving and adds the right amount menace from the chorus and makes you, the reader mad and primed to cheer when the revolt begin. Jesse and Mira as characters. They are young adults, in their 30s, who have grown up in a modern world that is supposed to be "color blind" and yet they know it is not. They have to come to terms with who they are, the world around them and how it sees them, and decided HOW to act, how to survive and how to maybe make things better if they even can. Goes from gross-- wedding on a plantation that does reenactments like it is a fun place to relax and celebrate to creepy to ghost sightings to out right terror. Gives a whole new meaning to "reparations," and it is past time for the wronged ghosts of tortured slaves to revolt and start going after the descendants of those who are responsible. Timely Revenge horror. And it is upsetting to think that you are cheering for this because all of it is awful. Slavery was awful but also cheering for the violent death of the descendants is too. This last statement is why it gets 4 stars! Those feelings are the dark emotions of horror. The terror and yet you are enjoying it as a reader. McQueen nails that perfectly. This is hard to do even for seasoned authors and she got it right on her debut novel. For fans of Horror where characters go back home after fleeing systemic oppression, determined to face it in order to move on but who also have very real supernatural monsters need dealing with too The Bright Lands by Fram or The Good House by Due.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    McQueen takes many of the horror tropes you know and puts them into the setting of a Southern plantation, truly ripe territory for horror. There is a very solid structure here, the childhood friends scarred by a tragedy who now return to where it all happened is a tried and true horror trope. So is the way trauma and vengeance can trickle down through generations. It is very fertile ground and the images the author invokes are vivid and unforgettable, but I didn't feel like I got enough of the c McQueen takes many of the horror tropes you know and puts them into the setting of a Southern plantation, truly ripe territory for horror. There is a very solid structure here, the childhood friends scarred by a tragedy who now return to where it all happened is a tried and true horror trope. So is the way trauma and vengeance can trickle down through generations. It is very fertile ground and the images the author invokes are vivid and unforgettable, but I didn't feel like I got enough of the characters themselves. I love a horror novel that touches on real traumas, but ultimately I need the characters to bring me into the story and to have a deep understanding of them for the book to work as a whole. Mira never came fully alive for me, she was so overly defined by her backstory, as if nothing else had ever happened to her. I would have liked a closer perspective, a fuller experience of her. Instead it's the plantation setting that really comes alive. There has been a lot of conversation lately in tv and film about the way Black pain generally and slavery specifically are used in genre, whether they go too far in depicting torture and suffering. It is a very complex issue and one where everyone's personal boundaries are different. But I think it's important to note that this book is one where the suffering of slaves is frequent, on the page, and some readers may find that it's excessive. (There is certainly some subject matter overlap between this book and the movie ANTEBELLUM--I did not see it, but I have read the Wikipedia summary--though the tone is quite different.) I suspect every single thing that happens in this book is based on real events, but much of it is trying to shock and horrify you. For some readers that will be just fine, part of the territory when we confront the realities of slavery. For others, it will be too much and I just want those readers to know this ahead of time. McQueen's tone is important, and she approaches the material with a deep respect and reverence for the enslaved people whose ghosts now haunt the plantation. She also comes at it from a perspective of the descendants of enslaved people and analyzing the way generational wealth and trauma can be handed down. This moves at a pretty slow pace until the last third. The ending is just fine, though it does leave a lot of loose threads. This is so common in horror that I do not mind it so much.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie (That's What She Read)

    This was a really good supernatural horror novel. Mira comes back to the Southern small town she grew up in for a friend's wedding....at a plantation. Seriously. Mira is uncomfortable with the event being held at a recently renovated plantation, a fact that doesn't mean to phase the bride, her childhood friend, Celine. I really enjoyed the way this told, especially the interstitial Greek chorus chapters that really get into what was going on in the plantation. A story that will make you think ab This was a really good supernatural horror novel. Mira comes back to the Southern small town she grew up in for a friend's wedding....at a plantation. Seriously. Mira is uncomfortable with the event being held at a recently renovated plantation, a fact that doesn't mean to phase the bride, her childhood friend, Celine. I really enjoyed the way this told, especially the interstitial Greek chorus chapters that really get into what was going on in the plantation. A story that will make you think about what history means to all people involved. I wanted a bit more from the climax, but a thought-provoking story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Janelle Janson

    A stunning book . Review to come.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Britney Young

    SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW! Growing up in a segregated Southern town in the shadows of a long rumored haunted plantation; Mira, Jesse and Celine were inseparable. That is until one day when sneaking onto the plantation grounds results in a dead body being found, Jesse accused of murder and Mira seeing something that for years she just can't explain. In the aftermath of this event the three go their separate ways, but reunite years later at Celine's wedding which is taki SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW! Growing up in a segregated Southern town in the shadows of a long rumored haunted plantation; Mira, Jesse and Celine were inseparable. That is until one day when sneaking onto the plantation grounds results in a dead body being found, Jesse accused of murder and Mira seeing something that for years she just can't explain. In the aftermath of this event the three go their separate ways, but reunite years later at Celine's wedding which is taking place at the newly renovated plantation where they must come to terms with their connection the past as well as their connection to each other. The premise of this book is initially what drew me in. I was very interested in hearing what author LaTanya McQueen had to say about how our culture has turned painful moments and locations in black history into tourist attractions and wedding destinations (seriously, how someone can overlook the horrors that happened on plantations and decide its a good place to get married, is something I will never be able to understand nor justify). I was also curious as to how McQueen was going to incorporate the supernatural element of having the plantation be haunted. However, I will be honest in saying that the execution fell a bit flat for me. McQueen is a fabulous writer. I was especially moved by the interstitial chapters of this book where the history of the Woodsmans planation is explained. In these sections, McQueen's writing is exquisite and enthralling, and at some moments poetic. But the rest of the book felt like it was missing something. It never really figured out what it wanted to be, too many things were happening that there wasn't a clear picture of what I was supposed to take away from this story. I especially was dissatisfied with the last sixty pages; when Jesse and Mira return to the plantation to warn the wedding guests that the ghosts of the slaves who were killed during an uprising were coming back to murder them all. That scenario really would've been an excellent climax, raising the stakes for our characters and living up to the premise's promise of a haunted plantation. However, I am not even sure I can describe properly what ends up happening. From my understanding, Mira experiences visions of moments in the plantations history, which are supposed to give her a better understanding of what actually happened there. Yet, the ghosts never go after any of the wedding guests, in fact, none of the other wedding guests are even present. It feels like Mira should've gone through these moments earlier in her stay at that plantation. Then she would've understood the severity of them continuing to stay on the grounds. I just found it all a bit confusing, and to include the whole situation with Celine skipping on the wedding and being found dead, just really felt like a a side story that wasn't necessary. Even with that said, I would still recommend this book to readers. McQueen is a great writer, the book was engaging and the story is quite original. It has the similar creepy vibes as "Get Out" and McQueen does an excellent job of creating that eerie atmosphere. McQueen's voice is strong and unique and I will for sure read her future works. I want to thank Harper Perennial and NetGalley for the advanced copy!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Travel.with.a.book

    When The Reckoning Comes is an evocative, emotional and poignant debut book that merges a dark horror atmosphere in a Southern plantation. The trauma explored within this book is so mindful and shown in a new rich perspective, the meaning behind the book is something relevant and resonant about the racial unrest of our current times, an exploitative depiction of violent, slavery tropes. . This book was a dazzling to my brain and the characters were radiant and so insightful! The brutal and horrify When The Reckoning Comes is an evocative, emotional and poignant debut book that merges a dark horror atmosphere in a Southern plantation. The trauma explored within this book is so mindful and shown in a new rich perspective, the meaning behind the book is something relevant and resonant about the racial unrest of our current times, an exploitative depiction of violent, slavery tropes. . This book was a dazzling to my brain and the characters were radiant and so insightful! The brutal and horrifying events have shocked me and the Author LaTanya McQueen has written an incredible crafted and well-researched novel, the main characters are two Black former childhood friends Mira and Jessie, one day they will receive an invitation to the Wedding of their white friend Celine, the story starts to unfold with the unexpected twists and a compelling rich prose! . When The Reckoning Comes merges the horrors of slavery and transcendent components in some fascinating and powerful topics such as race, privilege, wealth, friendship relationships in a cruel, horrifying and haunting tale that I will not soon forget, the book is a compulsive and thought-provoking story, this is a perfect read for fans of Antebellum, Get Out and When No One is Watching. When the Reckoning Comes is a 5/5 and I really felt the terrors of the book all the emotions that the Author has portrayed, and I must say that this one is definitely one of my favourite debut book of 2021 and I highly recommend you to read it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Monica **can't read fast enough**

    The premise of When the Reckoning Comes really grabbed my attention and I was happy to have the opportunity to receive a review copy. The story starts off with the backstory of Mira, Jesse, and Celine and how their unlikely friendship came together and fell apart as they got older; which is the jumping off point of the main plot. The Woodsman Plantation and the rumors of its haunting draws Mira and Jesse into an incident that changes their friendship and stays with Mira until her return home for The premise of When the Reckoning Comes really grabbed my attention and I was happy to have the opportunity to receive a review copy. The story starts off with the backstory of Mira, Jesse, and Celine and how their unlikely friendship came together and fell apart as they got older; which is the jumping off point of the main plot. The Woodsman Plantation and the rumors of its haunting draws Mira and Jesse into an incident that changes their friendship and stays with Mira until her return home for Celine's wedding that is being held at the infamous plantation. In my opinion that should have been a deal breaker for Mira, but there is an explanation for why it wasn't. There are quite a few decisions and actions by Mira that I didn't understand throughout the story. She was slow to catch on to things and her reactions to some big disturbing occurrences she found herself in were confusing and sometimes frustrating. The voices of the enslaved people who were abused at Woodsman Plantation gave added creepiness and an ominous atmosphere to the story. Adding in the horrific history of the plantation and the people who owned and worked it as well as examples of current racism and injustices also helped with the oppressive eeriness of the story but even as a scaredy cat reader I didn't feel that this was full-on horror. When the Reckoning Comes put me in mind of When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole, so if you enjoyed that one you may want to give this one a try. I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Where you can find me: •(♥).•*Monica Is Reading*•.(♥)• Twitter: @monicaisreading Instagram: @readermonica Goodreads Group: The Black Bookcase

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    WHEN THE RECKONING COMES by LaTanya McQueen is an intense novel! It’s about Mira, who returns to her hometown for a wedding at a plantation and reunites with her childhood friends. . This novel explores the lasting impact of slavery and racism. I found myself reading this short book quite slowly. It was interesting the touch of the supernatural with the added element of ghosts. I greatly felt the unease that Mira was feeling through the writing. This is a good one to pick up when you’re in the rig WHEN THE RECKONING COMES by LaTanya McQueen is an intense novel! It’s about Mira, who returns to her hometown for a wedding at a plantation and reunites with her childhood friends. . This novel explores the lasting impact of slavery and racism. I found myself reading this short book quite slowly. It was interesting the touch of the supernatural with the added element of ghosts. I greatly felt the unease that Mira was feeling through the writing. This is a good one to pick up when you’re in the right mood for a heavier read! . Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for my uncorrected proof!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Thushara

    This was so brilliant. Full review to come soon.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    Holy shit, what a book. I should have expected this level of intensity when I read the synopsis, but I still wasn't ready. To say that McQueen can pen a gruesome and harrowing horror novel is definitely an understatement. More to come. Holy shit, what a book. I should have expected this level of intensity when I read the synopsis, but I still wasn't ready. To say that McQueen can pen a gruesome and harrowing horror novel is definitely an understatement. More to come.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bri

    **3.75 stars rounded up** Still thinking about this one. Lots of brutality and grotesque violence against Black people, but I’m going to struggle against writing this novel off as trauma porn. McQueen had a purpose, that was clear. At times the the writing was too on the nose, likely because this novel is so short, and I wish McQueen had let the reader connect the dots between slavery and present systems. I too wish she had given the story and characters time to breathe. I hardly felt like I knew **3.75 stars rounded up** Still thinking about this one. Lots of brutality and grotesque violence against Black people, but I’m going to struggle against writing this novel off as trauma porn. McQueen had a purpose, that was clear. At times the the writing was too on the nose, likely because this novel is so short, and I wish McQueen had let the reader connect the dots between slavery and present systems. I too wish she had given the story and characters time to breathe. I hardly felt like I knew Mira, Jesse, and Cecile before they were in the thick of everything, and it was difficult to buy into how loyal they were to each other. I think the shifting POVs within chapters also confused me. I wish we could’ve heard characters’ internal experiences in separate chapters instead of at random. The book did pick up for me and I enjoyed the second half much more. There’s a twist about halfway though that I didn’t see coming at all. I appreciated the ways McQueen explored ideas of vengeance, legacy, and Black people knowing where we come from. Aside from feeling like the book could’ve been longer and a bit more subtle in regards to some things, I’m pleased with this debut. The story weaves in and out of the present and has some pretty gnarly horror. Decent plot too. Looking forward to what this author puts out next.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    Mira grew up in a small town where small minds allowed racism to flourish. She hasn't been back in years, and who could blame her. But she still thinks of Jesse, her school girl crush, and what might have been had things turned out differently. Out of the blue she gets a phone call from her childhood friend Celine, practically begging her to attend her wedding. When they were children, Celine often said they could be sisters, it didn't seem to matter to her that she was white and Mira was not, o Mira grew up in a small town where small minds allowed racism to flourish. She hasn't been back in years, and who could blame her. But she still thinks of Jesse, her school girl crush, and what might have been had things turned out differently. Out of the blue she gets a phone call from her childhood friend Celine, practically begging her to attend her wedding. When they were children, Celine often said they could be sisters, it didn't seem to matter to her that she was white and Mira was not, or maybe it was that the white kids didn't really accept her because she was poor. Maybe she was just using Mira all along. When Mira learns that Jesse will be attending the wedding, she reluctantly agrees to make the drive, even though Celine is getting married on the old plantation where countless slaves were tortured and killed. When they were kids they heard the rumors and ghost stories about the plantation, and may have even witnessed something otherworldly themselves. Now it's all been renovated and turned into a vacation resort where the wealthy and privileged can watch slave reenactments while they pretend there was nothing wrong with owning people. But fresh paint and new construction can't hide what lurks beneath. This was a more subtle kind of horror, very atmospheric and dark. The pace was a little slow although there is a pervasive sense of "wrongness" before Mira even reaches her destination. More than just a ghost story it shines a light on the stark contrast in the way the haves and have nots perceive the world. 3.5 out of 5 stars I received an advance copy for review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ✨Brithanie Faith✨

    4/5 🌟's ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. When Mira is invited to attend the wedding of her childhood friend Celine; a wedding that will take place at the Woodsman plantation- which has since been turned into a vacation resort, and is rumored to be haunted by the vengeful spirits of the men and women who were enslaved there, she is understandably reluctant to go. That is until she receives a voicemail from Jesse; another old friend who she has unresolved feelings for 4/5 🌟's ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. When Mira is invited to attend the wedding of her childhood friend Celine; a wedding that will take place at the Woodsman plantation- which has since been turned into a vacation resort, and is rumored to be haunted by the vengeful spirits of the men and women who were enslaved there, she is understandably reluctant to go. That is until she receives a voicemail from Jesse; another old friend who she has unresolved feelings for and wishes to reconnect with so she can finally confess what she saw on the plantation years ago. The day that Jesse was almost arrested for murder. Following me so far? Because my thoughts on this one are all over the place! For such a short novel- When The Reckoning Comes packs one hell of a punch. Dear reader, some of the guests aren't going to leave the Woodsman, but as Mira discovers some of the truly horrifying things that were done to the men and women there, you might not want them to.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Norrie

    Was quite creepy, for sure, but not a heart rate elevating horror.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bon

    Wow, I have THINGS TO SAY! Right, so, contrary to many readers it looks like, I found this amazing. Even as it unsettled and outright provoked me to almost vomiting, it was an incredible piece of societal commentary. The true element of horror here is the gentrification and literal whitewashing of the old plantation setting into a high-priced event venue. As frightening as the idea of chain-rattling, bloodied ghosts lurching through the trees is, they are not the true monsters in this story. Th Wow, I have THINGS TO SAY! Right, so, contrary to many readers it looks like, I found this amazing. Even as it unsettled and outright provoked me to almost vomiting, it was an incredible piece of societal commentary. The true element of horror here is the gentrification and literal whitewashing of the old plantation setting into a high-priced event venue. As frightening as the idea of chain-rattling, bloodied ghosts lurching through the trees is, they are not the true monsters in this story. The true beasts are of [white] flesh and blood. This book is fairly short, so the slow pacing that a lot of other readers noted was irrelevant to me (this also doesn't let it get lengthy about, frankly, traumatizing content, even if most of us need to hear this stuff). I listened to it on audio at double speed, so that helped. The narrator is lovely and skilled, and the slow lurching progress of the book lent its own scary build to the plot. The spookyness moves closer and closer, just out of sight until you're right in the thick of it. The setting of this book is like quaint colonial Williamsburg's brutally-honest, fucked-up cousin. People pay to watch tobacco get picked. Old slave cabins are made into high-end B&B cottages. All of the customer service positions are held by black people, who are specifically denied NAME TAGS because the idea of identity is deemed irrelevant. This is one of the scariest books I've ever read, downright horrifying in its sheer plausibility/reflecting the current actual trend of plantation weddings. The entire book carries a trigger warning for...well, a lot. Racism, sexual violence, mob violence - and gore, which climaxed for me around the 87% mark. I was eating lunch like a dummy, and almost threw up. About the 80% mark was hugely uncomfortable for me as well, strong warnings for sexual assault and rape, and dehumanizing treatment, though these are present throughout the entire book. Overall - this was just excellent. An important book that everyone should read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Richelle Robinson

    Thank you Harper Perennial for my review copy. There’s a lot to unpack with this story. I don’t know why anyone would want to have a wedding on an old plantation. Then to invite your only Black friend like it’s nothing and I don’t understand why Mira didn’t stay home. Mira had me shaking my head during this story because she really let these racist white people say and do whatever. “ Oh you’re Celine’s Black friend?” Excuse me? That’s not how you address people. This story did take some time to Thank you Harper Perennial for my review copy. There’s a lot to unpack with this story. I don’t know why anyone would want to have a wedding on an old plantation. Then to invite your only Black friend like it’s nothing and I don’t understand why Mira didn’t stay home. Mira had me shaking my head during this story because she really let these racist white people say and do whatever. “ Oh you’re Celine’s Black friend?” Excuse me? That’s not how you address people. This story did take some time to build up and when it did I was really invested to see how it would unfold. The last few chapters were intense, but I wanted more from that ending. For a horror story I didn’t really get any scary/spooky vibes while reading. Overall, I did enjoy the story and would definitely read another book by this author.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    This was fucking horrific. ----------------- When Mira is invited to her childhood friend Celine's wedding, she is shocked to discover it's taking place at a former plantation. While Celine is white, she grew up with black best friends (Mira and a boy named Jesse), and Mira is understandingly upset that her friend hasn't considered the ramifications of holding her wedding in such a place. Not only that, but rumours persist that the place is haunted by the ghosts of the tortured slaves. Mira and Je This was fucking horrific. ----------------- When Mira is invited to her childhood friend Celine's wedding, she is shocked to discover it's taking place at a former plantation. While Celine is white, she grew up with black best friends (Mira and a boy named Jesse), and Mira is understandingly upset that her friend hasn't considered the ramifications of holding her wedding in such a place. Not only that, but rumours persist that the place is haunted by the ghosts of the tortured slaves. Mira and Jesse, as teenagers, ventured out to the house once and what she saw, terrified the life out of her and she's been unable to speak about it to anyone. This book is full of racial tensions and horrific scenes. There are descriptions in here that have haunted me since reading and the worst part is they are historically factual. I loved the paranormal elements of this story and I think it worked really well. It was a genuinely terrifying and tense book. Cannot wait to read more from this author! Also, if you plan on holding a wedding at a plantation or celebrating anything at or about plantations, re-evaluate your life please.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Mira Groves moved away from her home town of Kipsen, North Carolina ten years ago. When she gets a call from her former best friend Cecilia inviting her to her wedding, she agrees to return. Cecilia, a poor white girl friends with the poor Black kids, has grown up to have a lavish wedding at the Woodsman Plantation, a horrifying spectacle glorifying slave life. Mira and her friend Jesse had a terrifying experience at Woodsman Plantation that changed both of them. Now they both have to return to s Mira Groves moved away from her home town of Kipsen, North Carolina ten years ago. When she gets a call from her former best friend Cecilia inviting her to her wedding, she agrees to return. Cecilia, a poor white girl friends with the poor Black kids, has grown up to have a lavish wedding at the Woodsman Plantation, a horrifying spectacle glorifying slave life. Mira and her friend Jesse had a terrifying experience at Woodsman Plantation that changed both of them. Now they both have to return to see their old friend Cecilia has changed as well. When the Reckoning Comes is one of those stories where you have to sit back and tell yourself, “it’s just fiction. It’s just fiction. These people aren’t real.” And then you remember, yes, these specific people aren’t real, but they DO exist. There are people today who would go to a slave cabin and say, “see, this isn’t so bad.” On a whole, this book is a horror story. And it goes even deeper than ghosts and ghouls. It shows the horror that was slavery, the horror of slave masters, the horror of plantations that people have now deemed perfect wedding venues. I can’t wait to read anything else that LaTanya McQueen has to offer! Thank you to NetGalley, Harper Perennial, and LaTanya McQueen for this advanced review copy. CW: racism, suicide, murder, entomophobia, body mutilation, slavery

  25. 4 out of 5

    The Library Ladies

    (originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com ) Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel! One of my favorite places to visit on a semi-regular basis (at least in the beforetimes) is Savannah, Georgia. It’s such a funky historic town, and I really enjoy staying in the historic area, walking around the squares, and doing haunted pub crawls and ghost tours. I also try to go on historic house tours, as there is a lot of interesting history there, but I almost always found i (originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com ) Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel! One of my favorite places to visit on a semi-regular basis (at least in the beforetimes) is Savannah, Georgia. It’s such a funky historic town, and I really enjoy staying in the historic area, walking around the squares, and doing haunted pub crawls and ghost tours. I also try to go on historic house tours, as there is a lot of interesting history there, but I almost always found it hard to really enjoy because so many of the tours would completely white wash the slavery aspect of said history. That isn’t to say that doesn’t happen in Northern historical institutions: as someone who has worked at historic sites before, one of which had a significant tie to Dred Scott, it happens up North too (admittedly, the sites I worked at did try to start the conversations, they just also didn’t give us tools to handle the visitors who would meet those conversations with either derision or flat out hostility. THE STORIES I HAVE.). Horrors of some of our historic sites can get lost, and a lot of the time it’s because of the fact America hasn’t really faced those horrors yet. “When the Reckoning Comes” by LaTanya McQueen takes this idea, and makes it into a full blown vengeful ghost story, and boy does it work. In terms of ghostly plots, we have a little bit of everything. Childhood friends Mira and Celine have grown apart, but Mira returns home for Celine’s wedding at a rural plantation house that may or may not be haunted. We see this story unfold in a few ways. The first is the present, as Mira attends the wedding celebrations in spite of her very understandable discomfort. But that discomfort isn’t just because of the terrible things that happened to Black people on that land (and Celine deciding to have a lavish party there in spite of that), but also because of another timeline we see: when they were kids, Mira and hers and Celine’s friend Jesse went onto the land when it was run down and abandoned, as the rumors of ghosts were intriguing. But what they both saw and experienced on that visit changed their lives. For Mira, she saw things that she couldn’t explain, but for Jesse, the mysterious death of a white local on the property led to him being suspected of murder due to his proximity, but mostly his race. All of these things come to a head during Celine’s wedding celebrations, but there is also the aspect of the vengeful ghosts that want to take out any descendants of those who brutalized them in life… who happen to be a lot of the wedding guests and wedding party members. The ghost aspects of this book hit all the marks I wanted them to hit: they have VERY legitimate reasons for being angry, there are a lot of creepy moments with imagery and pacing, and we have Mira who just can’t quite believe that she is seeing something supernatural, even as it becomes more and more clear that something strange is happening. McQueen knows the beats to hit for an effective ghost story, and she hits them pretty well. But this ghost story, while absolutely having creepy ghost moments, is also about the way that history and trauma can haunt for generations. The metaphors are rich in this book, the ghosts of America’s sins being a huge theme, and characters like Mira and Jesse who have to reckon with them, while characters like Celine don’t feel like they have to. Mira and Jesse bear the brunt of American racism in different ways, be it Jesse being accused of a crime he didn’t commit because of his race, or Mira internalizing that racism and trying to be an ‘ideal’ Black woman in a society that is fueled by white ideals and supremacy. For them to be invited by white childhood friend Celine to her LITERAL plantation wedding, and for her to not see what the problem is with it and to dismiss how fucked up it is, is truly a perfect set up for this kind of story. Celine is a bit more than the caricature that she could have been, in that you do see her complex friendship with Mira for both the bad and the good. You do see how she, too, had a hard time growing up in their community as someone who was poor. But you also see that she always, ALWAYS, falls on the side of her whiteness, even when it is on the side of those who mistreated her for other things, and how insidious whiteness can be because of that. It’s heavy stuff, and McQueen lays it all out expertly. And really, the true horror story moments are moments of interlude that are from the generalized POV of the ghosts of the slaves, who tell their experiences in all of their devastating truths. It is so hard to read, but it is very important to do so. We have so much reckoning to do still. “When the Reckoning Comes” is certainly a horror story, but it’s the horror story of the disgusting legacy of chattel slavery in America. And it’s long past time we face that horror head on.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Candice (Blackbiracialandbookish) Hale

    Plantations should not evoke revelry for anybody. Plantations housed the torment of the U.S.’s peculiar institution of slavery and manufactured the selling and breeding of human property. Across southern states, we remember the ways our Black ancestors come to terms with being Black in America throughout history and present-day. However, LaTanya McQueen writes a debut novel that shakes up those dark, Southern histories in 𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙍𝙚𝙘𝙠𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙨 and lets the ancestors speak when childhood frien Plantations should not evoke revelry for anybody. Plantations housed the torment of the U.S.’s peculiar institution of slavery and manufactured the selling and breeding of human property. Across southern states, we remember the ways our Black ancestors come to terms with being Black in America throughout history and present-day. However, LaTanya McQueen writes a debut novel that shakes up those dark, Southern histories in 𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙍𝙚𝙘𝙠𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙨 and lets the ancestors speak when childhood friends Mira, Celine, and Jesse reconvene for a plantation-style wedding at Woodsman Plantation. In this new thriller, readers question their own rendering of the past: “This place will get you if you stay. It'll find a way to own you forever… it's only a matter of time before they come for us and they're coming to take their due.” McQueen’s social commentary on Black women and girls and hyperinvisibility, police brutality and racial profiling of black males, and the fetishization of plantation life as performance/entertainment is done brilliantly throughout the novel. Those experiences—the truth of living as a Black person/woman—in this America never leaves us. The truth burrows itself deep into our soul, but not too far to oust itself out of view or to disrupt our memories. Like Mira, we know—“For black girls, terrors lurked everywhere”—so the plantation just takes on new shapes in today’s America. Jesse says, “It's hard to live with the truth of this world, so we ignore what we can. Choose not to look. We have to do it because otherwise we have to deal with the burden of knowing.” 𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙍𝙚𝙘𝙠𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙨 has a great premise. There is an extremely slow burn, which makes it difficult for me to be fully spooked to enjoy this as a thriller. The suspense drags like a dead body in a sleeping bag. It had potential but lost me with the disjointed and confusing storyline. I was left with too many questions that needed answering. Overall, the story fell flat. I’d most definitely read another project by McQueen in the future though. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bianca (Belladonnabooks)

    This was a wonderful example of what I feel like a Southern horror novel should be and the perfect mash up of paranormal, literary and historical horror. The horror in here is extremely unsettling and terrifying for many reasons. The plantation has a brutal past and the ghosts of the slaves which resided there were subjected to horrific torture. They want revenge and are determined to take it out on the guests at a wedding which is being hosted at the plantation - now a boutique wedding venue bu This was a wonderful example of what I feel like a Southern horror novel should be and the perfect mash up of paranormal, literary and historical horror. The horror in here is extremely unsettling and terrifying for many reasons. The plantation has a brutal past and the ghosts of the slaves which resided there were subjected to horrific torture. They want revenge and are determined to take it out on the guests at a wedding which is being hosted at the plantation - now a boutique wedding venue but simply glossing over the location's vicious past. There were many quintessential Southern elements within this novel - gorgeous Southern landscapes, a plantation (which is haunted by the way), and the traumatic history of the deep South woven through. Reading this was such an experience and I felt transported to the South. It was an incredible beautiful, haunting read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nach

    the writing is brilliant, but i didn’t really enjoy this. i didn’t mind the slow pace at first because i thought it’d climax into something intense, but the middle was a little confusing and flat for me. i understood what was happening, but there were just a lot of little things that i thought could’ve been executed differently. the stories were absolutely horrifying and sad to read, but it wasn’t necessarily anything spooky. at least in my opinion; there are a lot of reviews here saying the hor the writing is brilliant, but i didn’t really enjoy this. i didn’t mind the slow pace at first because i thought it’d climax into something intense, but the middle was a little confusing and flat for me. i understood what was happening, but there were just a lot of little things that i thought could’ve been executed differently. the stories were absolutely horrifying and sad to read, but it wasn’t necessarily anything spooky. at least in my opinion; there are a lot of reviews here saying the horror was terrific, so it’s definitely subjective. i wish we’d explored the characters more, but anyway. i’ll be reading the author’s future books because i loved the writing style, and the storytelling technique.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Robinson

    One of the best parts of experiencing an author’s debut novel is the the thrill of discovery. Whether the book turns out to be an amazing experience or not, witnessing the work and the mind of someone new is an event. In the case of When the Reckoning Comes, by LaTanya McQueen, readers needn’t worry. Supernatural horror and the very real horrors of racism and prejudice are joined with a real talent for storytelling sure to engage readers. Told from the viewpoint of Mira, a Black woman who has att One of the best parts of experiencing an author’s debut novel is the the thrill of discovery. Whether the book turns out to be an amazing experience or not, witnessing the work and the mind of someone new is an event. In the case of When the Reckoning Comes, by LaTanya McQueen, readers needn’t worry. Supernatural horror and the very real horrors of racism and prejudice are joined with a real talent for storytelling sure to engage readers. Told from the viewpoint of Mira, a Black woman who has attempted to escape her past through lack of proximity and her career, she heads home for the wedding of one of her oldest friends, Celine. McQueen wastes no time endearing readers to Mira; her anxiety and even feelings of hope are on full display as she makes the trip home. Flashbacks are woven seamlessly into the threads of the novel in order to provide both context and a deeper sense of connection. It is this build up, this attention to detail and care for the readers’ investment, which makes Woodsman plantation all the more shocking. As mentioned in the synopsis, this former home of slavery and pain as been renovated and, of course, it is the Celine’s chosen wedding venue. McQueen deftly discusses the real horrors of the past and their ever present mark on today’s timeline. Jesse, Mira, and Celine realize they must face what has become before in order to have a hope for the future. This debut falls solidly in the horror genre. Much like Toni Morrison’s Beloved, When the Reckoning Comes is the intersection of fictional horrors and very real ones. From a certainly haunted plantation, to terrifying revelations, McQueen taps into the kind of dread and darkness readers hope to experience. In fact, several parts of this might be quite difficult for even the most seasoned of horror readers. It is that earlier connection, that personal engagement, combined with truly captivating writing that makes it all the more horrific. If you are looking for a great, important read this September (or whenever) consider picking up this book. It is sure to appeal to a wide variety of readers. This is a stunning debut novel.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lenoire

    Mira has left her small, segregated hometown in the south more than a decade ago to forget her past. She tried to distance herself from her past and her best friends, Celine and Jessie. Celine was teased because she was the only white girl who had black friends. Her old neighborhood was known for being a poor black area and most people try to avoid it. Years ago, she and Jessie, her secret crush, decide to visit the creepy Woodsman plantation together. The plantation has been rumored to be haunte Mira has left her small, segregated hometown in the south more than a decade ago to forget her past. She tried to distance herself from her past and her best friends, Celine and Jessie. Celine was teased because she was the only white girl who had black friends. Her old neighborhood was known for being a poor black area and most people try to avoid it. Years ago, she and Jessie, her secret crush, decide to visit the creepy Woodsman plantation together. The plantation has been rumored to be haunted by the spirits of slaves. While they were exploring, Mira comes across a ghost and the day goes wrong when a body is found on the plantation. Jesse is accused of murder and Mira is afraid to admit to what she saw that day. Years later, Mira has returned to Kipsen to attend Celine's wedding at the plantation. The plantation has been remodeled into a vacation resort. Mira was hesitant to come because of her past but, she still hopes to reconnect with her friends. Even though the Woodsman mansion went through millions of dollars of renovation, it still remains a monument to its racist history. They serve antebellum drinks, have horrifying reenactments and most of the service staff is black. The darkest parts of the plantation's past has been erased; the ones that fuel the rumor mills that the mansion is haunted. The rumor is that many of the slaves were horrendously tortured and then killed. Their ghosts haunt the land and seek vengeance on the descendants of those who hurt them. I thought the novel started off okay but, then towards the middle of the book it got really slow and boring. I was expecting more from this ghost story. The ending felt rushed and out of place. It left me wanting more but, by then I was already over the book. I had a hard time connecting with some of the characters as some didn't feel very fleshed out.

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