How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

Dec 7, 2023
HORROR BOOK REVIEW Review by Carmilla Voiez

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

Review by Carmilla Voiez

The story is divided into five main parts, each reflecting one of the stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Louise receives a phone call from her brother, Mark, telling her their parents died. She leaves her daughter, Polly, with Polly’s father and travels 3,000 miles to organise the funeral and divide the estate, assuming that her younger brother is incapable of doing either.

Louise grows less and less sympathetic as the story progresses, and her role as an unreliable narrator becomes apparent. We know she is hiding something but between all the creepy happenings while she is stuck in a house full of puppets and dolls with a brother she seems to hate, it is difficult to differentiate fantasy from reality. At around the mid-point, when an uncomfortable truth is finally revealed, Louise takes some long-awaited responsibility.

It’s an unpredictable book with twists and turns, moments of crazed laughter, and others of stomach-churning violence. Some scenes are touching, while others are nightmarish. How to Sell a Haunted House is a delight to read. Hendrix really knows how to build the stakes while making the readers care about very flawed characters.

There is a touching moment in Acceptance near the end of the book where Louise takes a step back and considers all that has happened: “Everything her mom had built, everything she had spent her life creating, everything that meant so much to her, it was gone.” My eyes grew moist as I mentally argued with the distraught protagonist. No, it hasn’t all gone, I thought. You and Mark survived and built a bridge between you, a shaky bridge, but one I hope you will strengthen. And that isn’t nothing. Your mom would believe it was a good trade.

If you’ve read the book already, let me know what you think. If you haven’t, I recommend you treat yourself to a copy and enjoy the manic ride.

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

Your past and your family can haunt you like nothing else… A hilarious and terrifying new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Final Girl Support Group.

When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.

Mostly, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. But she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.

Some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…

Like his novels The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires and The Final Girl Support Group, How to Sell a Haunted House is classic Hendrix: equal parts heartfelt and terrifying—a gripping new read from “the horror master” (USA Today).

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