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The birthing house
Christopher Ransom
Adult Fiction RANSOM

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A blend of supernatural horror and psychological thriller, Ransom's impressive debut chronicles a couple's descent into madness after they purchase a 140-year-old Victorian house in rural Wisconsin. Failed L.A. screenwriter Conrad Harrison, whose marriage is on the rocks and who's still coming to grips with the sudden death of his estranged father, decides it's time for a change and, on a whim, buys a turn-of-the-century birthing house he fatefully found after driving the wrong way out of Chicago. But the sprawling structure has a dark history, and after his wife lands a new job and leaves for a few weeks of training in Detroit, Harrison begins to unravel the house's bloody past, even as his own sanity is unraveling. Replete with subtle symbolism that supports the birthing motif (spiders with bulging egg sacs, a moist clutch of snake eggs, etc.), this addictively readable ghost story will keep readers up all night, with the lights on, of course. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

After his father's death, Conrad Harrison acts on a whim and purchases a Victorian house in Wisconsin. Hoping for a fresh start, Conrad and his wife relocate there from California. They soon learn that their new home is a former birthing house and begin to experience ghostly apparitions, even hearing phantom baby cries in the night. The house's eccentricities begin to wear away at Conrad's sanity, drawing the reader into a psychological struggle of imagination and reality. As much about the terrors of humankind as it is about the supernatural, this is an exceptional debut, full of action-packed gore and carnal imagery. Ransom's style mimics that of the early Stephen King and Dan Simmons's horror fiction (e.g., A Winter Haunting). For popular fiction collections in libraries with high interest in horror. [150,000-copy first printing; library marketing.]-Carolann Curry, Mercer Univ. Medical Lib., Macon, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Conrad Harrison
Age: 30s
Trying to deal with the sudden death of his estranged father; in a troubled marriage; bought a turn-of-the century house; discovers the house has a bloody past; haunted by visions; becomes obsessed with the girl next door; torn between his wife and Nadia.

Joanna Harrison
Age: 30s
Conrad's wife; moves into a Victorian house with her husband; leaves on business for a few weeks.

Nadia Grum
Age: Teenager
Conrad's neighbor; spends a lot of time with Conrad; running from her ex-boyfriend.

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