When WWI veteran, Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, decide to move into the house in Whitbrow, GA that he inherited from his aunt, they have no idea how drastically their lives will be impacted (despite his aunt begging him to sell it and never step foot in it in her will). After leaving his position as a professor amidst scandal, Frank Nichols decides that it's time for a change. Frank's plan is to write about his family's history in Whitbrow since the ruins of his grandfather's plantation, Savoyard, is only a short distance away. The Savoyard name is synonymous with greed, hatred, fear, and evil in this small town due to the awful things that have become legend about its owner Lucien Savoyard when he held slaves. Frank Nichols is determined to establish himself on his own merits in town and not be a victim of the shadow of his ancestors. Things are off to a good start until there is the monthly town ritual of the Chase of Pigs where a male and female pig are decorated with flowers and then sent off into the woods as a sacrifice. Just after The Great Depression and in a town where families are on the brink of starvation, some townspeople begin to question the sensibility of "throwing away" perfectly good hogs that could be butchered for meat for the town.
The following month the town decides not to send the pigs into the woods and all of their worst fears come true. A whole family is wiped out by what is believed to be wild animals, but after a foray into the woods and across the river to hunt down the culprits, the townspeople find that there is something wholly unnatural and downright nefarious going on in the woods that threatens to completely destroy the town of Whitbrow. Despite logic, the Chase of Pigs has been keeping the town of Whitbrow safe from a centuries old curse. Of course, being a small and superstitious town, the townspeople blame Frank and Eudora for some of their misfortune because of Frank's association with the Savoyard name. As the story progresses, there are a series of events that are both disturbing and mind-boggling that ensure that Frank, Eudora, and Whitbrow will never be the same. You will definitely want to see how it all turns out.
The author, Christopher Buehlman, has been compared to Dean Koontz and early Stephen King and although this is his first novel, he is sure to have a few more tricks up his sleeve. If you like this book, you may want to read Bag of Bones by Stephen King; Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon; or Summer of Night by Dan Simmons.
Recommended by LaTanya West