The comfort of monsters : a novel

by Richards, Willa C.,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 7 Libraries 7 of 9 copies
Available (7)
Location Collection Call #
Andrew Bayne Memorial Library Fiction FIC RICH
Location  Andrew Bayne Memorial Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC RICH
CLP - Downtown First Floor - Fiction Collection FICTION Richards
Location  CLP - Downtown
Collection  First Floor - Fiction Collection
Call Number  FICTION Richards
CLP - East Liberty Fiction Collection FICTION Richards
Location  CLP - East Liberty
Collection  Fiction Collection
Call Number  FICTION Richards
CLP - South Side Fiction FICTION Richards
Location  CLP - South Side
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FICTION Richards
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fiction RICHARDS Willa
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  RICHARDS Willa
Plum Community Library Fiction FIC RIC
Location  Plum Community Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC RIC
South Park Library Fiction F RICHARDS WILLA
Location  South Park Library
Collection  Fiction
Unavailable (2)
Location Collection Status
CLP - Main Library First Floor - New Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - New Fiction
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fall Reads LOST AND PAID
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Fall Reads

Set in Milwaukee during the "Dahmer summer" of 1991, A remarkable debut novel for fans of Mary Gaitskill and Gillian Flynn about two sisters--one who disappears, and one who is left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.

In the summer of 1991, a teenage girl named Dee McBride vanished in the city of Milwaukee. Nearly thirty years later, her sister, Peg, is still haunted by her sister's disappearance. Their mother, on her deathbed, is desperate to find out what happened to Dee so the family hires a psychic to help find Dee's body and bring them some semblance of peace.

The appearance of the psychic plunges Peg back to the past, to those final carefree months when she last saw Dee--the summer the Journal Sentinel called "the deadliest . . . in the history of Milwaukee." Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's heinous crimes dominated the headlines and overwhelmed local law enforcement. The disappearance of one girl was easily overlooked.

Peg's hazy recollections are far from easy for her to interpret, assess, or even keep clear in her mind. And now digging deep into her memory raises doubts and difficult--even terrifying--questions. Was there anything Peg could have done to prevent Dee's disappearance? Who was really to blame for the family's loss? How often are our memories altered by the very act of voicing them? And what does it mean to bear witness in a world where even our own stories are inherently suspect?

A heartbreaking page-turner, Willa C. Richards' debut novel is the story of a broken family looking for answers in the face of the unknown, and asks us to reconsider the power and truth of memory.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Personal tragedy collides with public trauma in this wrenching debut. Peg McBride's sister, Dee, disappeared in Milwaukee during the summer of 1991, just as news broke of Jeffrey Dahmer's horrifying killings. While the rest of the city, and the nation, obsessed over Dahmer's actions, Peg searched for her sister's killer--even though Dee's body was never found. Now, in 2019, Peg's dying mother has hired a psychic--in town to film a special on Dahmer--to find Dee's body. But in a city eclipsed by the serial killer who stunned them, Peg and her family may never come to terms with their seismic loss. Flipping back and forth between time periods, the novel exposes Peg's own secrets and questions whether she herself is partially culpable for the wreck her life has become. Although pierced with moments of hope, this is a melancholy and somber book, a dark examination of the toxicity of unresolved grief. Meticulously researched and atmospheric, this is a perfect pick for book clubs and true-crime aficionados."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Richards's devastating debut dovetails the story of a young Milwaukee woman's 1991 disappearance with the city's legacy of the Jeffrey Dahmer murders. Peg McBride, 48, lives in the shadow of her younger sister, Dee, who vanished at 19 the same summer Dahmer was caught. After a second stroke, the sisters' mother wants some closure about Dee before she dies, and so hires TV psychic Thomas Alexander, who is in town to promote ghost tours of the gay bars frequented by Dahmer and his victims, to find out what happened to Dee. Peg is initially dubious. The story toggles back and forth between 2019 and 1991, where Richards introduces the three main suspects in Dee's disappearance, including Dee's older boyfriend, Frank, a fireman-in-training with a coarse manner. Peg thinks Frank is responsible, but has an impossible task proving it to the detectives, who have their hands full with the Dahmer revelations. Back in the present, Thomas claims to know where to find Dee's body. The author does an excellent job of showing Peg at two different points in her life and depicting how she is perpetually trapped between guilt and hope as she acquiesces to Thomas's methods. The other characters are equally well drawn. In a glut of dead girl stories and true crime vehicles, Richards pulls of a wrenching and rewarding twist on both. (July)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Missing persons -- Fiction.
Psychics -- Fiction.
Memory -- Fiction.
Families -- Fiction.
Milwaukee (Wis.) -- Fiction.
Detective and mystery fiction.
Publisher New York, NY :Harper,2021
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 389 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780063053021
Other Classic View