As a child, Abby had the same recurring nightmare night after night, in which she wandered through a field ridden with human skulls and bones. Now an adult, Abby thinks she's outgrown her demons, until, the evening before her wedding, the terrible dream returns and forces her to confront the dark secrets from her past she has kept from her new husband, Willem. The...more
A young woman of twenty suffers from horrible nightmares but she is looking forward to her future with Willem, her husband of one day. On this morning (the day after her wedding) Abby is hit by the bus that she had just stepped off from. While Abby is convalescing from her traumatic injuries in the hospital, a background story is told of all the events that had caused her to have the nightmares that have plagued her throughout her life and then Willem discovers that he did ...more
Nightmares have a way of seeping into the cracks.
Abby Hayman has been suffering from the same haunting, repetitious nightmares for years. Her brain sorts through the carnage of endless treks through grassy fields and the horror of what lays tangled in the weeds. Waking exhausted, she stumbles through her day only to return to the same mind channel again and again.
But Abby has met someone at the County Services where she is employed in Hammond, New York. She specializes in ...more
I wanted to like this more (but it’s hard to enjoy a book that deals with this kind of cruelty). The story of Abby is not necessarily engaging. I could not get behind her or Willem and their relationship. It was weird to me. She’s so meek and mild, and he’s such a neurotic, cloying child... it came off odd. I was curious to know more of Abby’s history, as well as the reason behind her “accident”, but the whole of it was not handled coherently.
Joyce Carol ...more
The Pursuit is depressing, even by Joyce Carol Oates standards.
“Early on the morning of her wedding day. Before dawn she is wakened from the dream with a jolt. The skeleton dream she had reason to believe she’d outgrown, vivid before her staring eyes.”
Joyce Carol Oates' chameleon-like ability to shift between writing styles is one of the reasons why even whe she returns to themes she has previously explored her books have always some innovative element to them.
In The Pursuit Oates ...more
For the first tenth or so of this long novella I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, for the characters took some time to grow ...more
Then, less than 24 hours after she has married, Abby steps off and is hit by a bus causing her to almost die. As her husband Willem sits lovingly by her side and waits for her to wake up, he can’t help but wonder if his wife accidentally or intentionally caused ...more
ETA: When I ...more
This story is suspenseful and builds slowly, revealing Abby's life little bit by little bit. It isn't an exciting, edge of ...more
Joyce Carol Oates is my favorite non-horror horror writer. She really knows how to make me suffer for her characters. Reading her books, for me, is to experience that sinking-gut feeling the whole way through.
This is a short, brutal little book about some really horrible things. But it's not gratuitous violence, and its strength is in how much it makes you feel for the ...more
A character who has renamed herself Abby has spooky dreams about a field of skulls and bones. Her new husband, Willem, a devout Christian, marries her without doubts or questions despite the fact that he has never met her ...more
As Abby heals slowly, in fits and ...more
Of course this author is very talented, but it was a hard sell. It requires believing a man just married without really knowing much about his wife to be a very, very patient and true partner no matter how dark her past...a deeply buried past.
Are there such men?
Read the book and see what you think. It is original and not too long.
Pursuit slowly uncovers Abby’s traumatic history, growing up in the care of relatives. Her favorite ...more
'Here is the mistake: to have given into happiness. She will be punished now.'
Abby had hoped that becoming Mrs. Willem Zengler could save her, the damned, the cursed. Is it possible to cup happiness in both hands and drink from it? When she closes her eyes to sleep, it is always there, the bones, the horror. Love can’t chase that away, nor could protection. It always finds her, and the past won’t let her go. As a new bride she steps into ...more
This is as usual one scary deep tale. Exquisite writing. She is one of the great masters of the tale and she knows her genre. This as usual for her writing is story that borders on horror and the border is thin. She includes in it telling of a group of people who are fanatical. The main character is a young woman using name of Abby and that is revealed early that is not her name. She mixes brilliantly past and present in ...more
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Publisher: Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press
Publication Date: September 13, 2019 on Amazon
October 11, 2019 on NetGalley web site
Review Date: September 9, 2019
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the blurb:
“As a child, Abby had the same recurring nightmare night after night, in which she wandered through a field ridden with human skulls and bones. Now an adult, Abby thinks she’s outgrown her demons, ...more
i unfortunately didn’t really connect with the writing. some of the characters were really bland and i ...more
Always hide your weakness, as animals do."
This was a very odd and sad story. Told in varying POV, you have the father, mother, daughter and new husband. Each POV has a different story to tell and they are all woven together in sad and horrible ways. But the story never fully blossomed for me. It was poetic and sing-songy when you have the main Daughter POV. Her thoughts were scattered and odd, most times without complete sentences.
The new ...more