How Old Was The Girl From Poltergeist When She Died A Good and Happy Review – Book Review of ‘A Good and Happy Child’ by Justin Evans

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A Good and Happy Review – Book Review of ‘A Good and Happy Child’ by Justin Evans

Spooky Page Turner, A good and happy child weaves together the past and present of a troubled man in an attempt to understand why he rejected his newborn son. Protagonist George Davies, at the request of his therapist, writes a series of diaries detailing the shocking events of his childhood surrounding the death of his own father many years ago. As the diary progresses, it becomes clear to the reader that Evans has written no ordinary tale of grief and loss, but a supernatural horror laced with demonic possession, poltergeist activity, and a mysterious murder. The reader must decide whether George’s diaries reveal the delusions of a troubled child or something deeper and darker.

A good and happy child is an engaging book. Evans’ writing technique is deceptively simple and incredibly readable; his style allows for the exploration of classic horror themes without coming across as clichéd or predictable. Particularly inventive is the author’s description of the void into which young George’s “friend” takes him at the beginning of their sinister relationship, a place “warm and buoyant, gray and thick,” in which human souls are depicted as bright windows on a giant battleship. Evans uses this descriptive skill to encapsulate a child’s fear and easily convinces the reader of the narrator’s youth, unreliability and impressionable nature. Young George is well written as a character who needs compassion, help and protection from himself, his good adult friends or otherworldly influences, and the tragic nature of this character is magnified when it is clear that he will get none. A good character in a sea of ​​less good characters, young George shines and becomes a beacon for the neglect of troubled children and the damage that mismanaging delusions and demons can cause.

However, there were shortcomings. Undeniably a readable book, Evans has created a rather one-dimensional page-turner. Conspicuously absent is a subplot, and the brilliantly written young George is overshadowed by a series of regular characters: a hippie, a spiritual psychoanalyst, an academic feminist, and a quote-busting homosexual arts professor. Other characters, particularly George’s mother and her partner Kurt, are left without a level of depth that would have made the novel richer. Moreover, the supernatural scenes lacked punch and only the final image of the ‘demon’ created something truly chilling. Billed as “Incredibly terrifying and unnerving…” (Brad Meltzer), the book fails to deliver much that was truly terrifying.

Overall, despite the novel’s flaws, A good and happy child is a pleasant read. If you’re looking for a truly terrifying supernatural horror story, it would be best to avoid Evans’ novel. However, if you want something readable, well-written, and with plenty of room for audience interpretation, A good and happy child it might just be for you.

http://justinevans.com/agoodandhappychild/

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