Legends of deadly ghosts and mythical entities have been around since the dawn of time. However there are several myths about various paranormal entities named Mary, and in author Gwendolyn Kiste’s book Pretty Marys All in a Row a new story about the infamous Marys arises, and it’s a whirlwind story that fans of horror and speculative fiction will love. Here’s the synopsis:
You’ll find her on a lonely highway, hitchhiking at midnight. She calls herself Rhee, but everyone else knows her by another name: Resurrection Mary. And when she’s transported home each night to a decrepit mansion on a lane to nowhere, she’s not alone.
In the antique mirror, call her name three times, and Bloody Mary will appear. Outside, wandering through a garden of poisonous flowers is Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary, a nursery rhyme come to gruesome life. Downstairs is another jump-rope rhyme—Mary Mack, forever conscripted to build her own coffin. And brooding in the corner with her horse skull is the restless Mari Lwyd.
They are the Marys, the embodiment of urban legend and what goes bump in the night. Every evening, they gather around the table and share nightmares like fine wine, savoring the flavors of those they’ve terrified.
But other than these brief moments together, the Marys are alone, haunting a solitary gloom that knows them better than they know themselves. That’s because they don’t remember who they were before—or even if there was a before. And worst of all, they don’t know how to escape this fate.
That is, until a moment of rage inspires Rhee to leap from the highway—and into the mirror with Bloody Mary. Suddenly, the Marys are learning how to move between their worlds, all while realizing how much stronger they are together.
But just when freedom is within their reach, something in the gloom fights back—something that isn’t ready to let them go. Now with her sisters in danger of slipping into the darkness, Rhee must unravel the mystery of who the Marys were before they were every child’s nightmare. And she’ll have to do it before what’s in the shadows comes to claim her for its own.
I have to say, this is one of my favorite reads of 2017. I love creative new takes on myths and legends, and this book had a fantastic use of a new spin on several legends. The friendship and sisterhood between the Marys, especially Bloody Mary and Resurrection Mary, was such a fantastic twist to the tale. Seeing these characters bond and become so much more than their dark haunted history is a breath of fresh air to the legends, and although this book was short, it had a big impact in such a short amount of time.
The writing was spectacular. The vivid imagery used was so creative and painted an incredible picture in my mind as I read it. The character’s were the definite highlight of the book, while the complex narrative told a unique story that brought a new light to the darkness surrounding these legendary characters.
Overall this was a wonderful story that you guys need to read. The characters alone are worth the purchase, but the incredible story and smart writing showcases the fantastic command author Gwendolyn Kiste has over the speculative fiction genre. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up your copies of Pretty Marys All in a Row today!