Today I’m excerpting from an ARC from the Amazon Vine program: The Accursed, by Joyce Carol Oates.
It is an afternoon in autumn, near dusk. The western sky is a spider’s web of translucent gold. I am being brought by carriage—two horses—muted thunder of their hooves—along narrow country roads between hilly fields touched with the sun’s slanted rays, to the village of Princeton, New Jersey. The urgent pace of the horses has a dreamlike air, like the rocking motion of the carriage; and whoever is driving the horses his face I cannot see, only his back—stiff, straight, in a tight-fitting dark coat.
I’m not sure about this opener…but I will keep reading.
Teaser: He didn’t like the tremulous way in which Wilson was staring at him, or the twitching motions of Wilson’s lips, that appeared caked at the corner with a powdery white substance. p. 213
Amazon Description: This eerie tale of psychological horror sees the real inhabitants of turn-of-the-century Princeton fall under the influence of a supernatural power. New Jersey, 1905: soon-to-be commander-in-chief Woodrow Wilson is president of Princeton University. On a nearby farm, Socialist author Upton Sinclair, enjoying the success of his novel ‘The Jungle’, has taken up residence with his family. This is a quiet, bookish community – elite, intellectual and indisputably privileged. But when a savage lynching in a nearby town is hushed up, a horrifying chain of events is initiated – until it becomes apparent that the families of Princeton have been beset by a powerful curse. The Devil has come to this little town and not a soul will be spared. ‘The Accursed’ marks new territory for the masterful Joyce Carol Oates – narrated with her unmistakable psychological insight, it combines beautifully transporting historical detail with chilling fantastical elements to stunning effect.
Now I’m eager to see what the rest of you are offering.