Strange noises seem to come from nowhere and lead to impulsive behaviour for Amanda, her career and relationship on the line when a figure visits her in her dreams, tempting her to accept the loss of control. Finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with responsibilities, Amanda attempts to get help before it’s too late.
(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Faber and Faber Ltd and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity.
Come Closer chronicles the story of Amanda, who begins to exhibit unpredictable behaviour that threatens her marriage and livelihood, the blame cast on a demonic presence pervading her body. I’ve always liked possession stories, especially the focus on mental health and that inner struggle – they can leave the reader questioning the reliability of the character, therefore it has the potential to be enjoyable in interpreting whether the supernatural has any presence at all. Told through a first-person narrative, it didn’t take long for events to escalate for Amanda, with small shifts in personality leading to more self-destructive outbursts. I didn’t feel a whole lot of sympathy for her due to a negative first impression, but my attention was captured regardless during her descent, even making the thought of giving in to a demon almost appealing; it was grim, sure, but Gran touched on a kind of freedom that could only come from handing over the reins to someone (or something) else. I mean, doesn’t everyone feel overwhelmed at times?
That said, when it came to the demonic side of things, it was mostly quiet, relying on the uncertainties of the protagonist’s psyche rather than scenes of gore and death. The more explicit aspects were mentioned, such as sexual encounters and the like, but details were left mostly to the imagination due to Amanda’s lack of awareness. It worked for me and encouraged me to try and put the pieces together, with some tension as circumstances worsened. It wasn’t hard to predict where it was going, all told, but I liked it for what it was.
In conclusion: A quick glimpse into the decline of a woman’s life, Come Closer was unsettling, yet the unease lay in the somewhat relatable depiction of possession where unwanted thoughts and urges can spiral out of control. Amanda and Ted had a seemingly picture-perfect marriage, but their dream rapidly crumbled, and I was in for the ride. While I believed it decent, it didn’t blow me away nor was it distinctly memorable, but worth the short amount of time to get through.
We could devote our lives to making sense of the odd, the inexplicable, the coincidental. But most of us don’t, and I didn’t either.
© Red Lace 2021