Come CloserCome Closer by Sara Gran
My rating: 4/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

this is short and anything but sweet, somehow managing to pack a whole lot of creepiness into just under 200 pages.

it’s a story of a woman’s disintegration as she is invaded by a demonic presence that insinuates itself into her body and mind, slowly and irrevocably supplanting her free will, causing her to engage in increasingly self-destructive behaviors, blowing up her life as it sinks its claws ever-deeper into her mind; jeopardizing her marriage, her job, her reputation, and her list of “never have i evers,” leading her helplessly down a violent path…as much as she can recall of it.

it’s a truly chilling little story of a character’s descent into madness, her blackouts leaving the reader to fill in some of the pieces themselves, but showing enough of the gruesome aftermath to know that whatever she did, it ain’t gonna win her any good citizen awards.

a few months back, i read Freshwater, which is (in part) about possession manifesting as mental disorder/insanity, and i thought emezi did a fantastic job of writing that headspace—making it accessible and sympathetic to the reader. this is just as effective, but gran spins her similar situation in a different direction. instead of emezi’s transcendent/poetic/mythological realm, Come Closer shows, through a tantalizingly slow psychological slippage, how easy it is to give in, to let it all go, how freeing, sometimes, to let the demon tear down the whole damn house of cards.

and that, my friends, is terrifying.



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