Family Solstice

“Maruyama takes the reader from a child’s fear of what may lurk in the shadow, to the terror of certainty, to the horror of complicity, where the blood on your hands counts as a badge of honor.” — J.D. Horn, author of The Witches of New Orleans series

An intriguing coming-of-age story that slides–at first gradually, but then suddenly and horribly–into the nightmares of understanding. –Ben Loory, author of Tales of Falling and Flying

In Family Solstice Maruyama deftly lures you into the cozy life of a quintessential New England family, while building the prickling sense that something darker is lurking just underneath. The suspense exquisitely builds until the tale takes a horrific turn, making you wonder which monsters are worse—the ones we fight, or the ones we’re willing to live with. Maruyama is a masterful storyteller who manages to keep it creepy but also thought-provoking, and the strong-willed Shea, our bright, coming-of-age narrator, make this novella hard to put down. Fans of We Have Always Lived in the Castle and A Head Full of Ghosts will be thrilled. -J Lincoln Fenn, author of The Night Marchers

The Massey family loves their house. It’s been in the family for generations, and the land on which it sits has been with them even longer. In the summer everyone comes through to visit and the house is alive with family friends, barbecues and lobster boils. But come fall, the mood shifts as all of the kids start training for their turn in the basement.

Shea, the youngest Massey is training extra hard. She’s thirteen and that means this is her year to battle on Solstice. Her older siblings won’t tell her exactly what’s in the basement, you don’t know until you’re fighting it. She’s excited finally to be in the know.

She does know that whatever happens in the basement every December 21 makes it possible for the Masseys to spend the rest of the year enjoying their home and all that it brings. It is her family duty.

But something about this year is different. Mama’s extra quiet this fall, and the house is breathing early.

Maruyama explores the dangers of tradition, inheritance, and the sins of the father in this horror novella.

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“Strangely moving and movingly strange, Harrowgate is the world’s creepiest answer to ‘How’s the wife and kid?'” — Daniel Handler,  Why We Broke Up,  A Series of Unfortunate Events

“Strong characters in a believable relationship, clear, flowing prose, and a plot that won’t quit, make the menace palpable. Be prepared to stay up till dawn with this one.”
                        -Jeffrey Ford, author of The Shadow Year                      

Michael should be overjoyed by the birth of his son, but his wife, Sarah won’t let him touch the baby or allow anyone to visit.

Greta, an intrusive, sinister doula has wormed her way into their lives, driving a wedge between Michael and his family. Every time he leaves the Harrowgate, he returns to find his beloved wife and baby altered. He feels his family slipping away and, as a malevolent force begins to creep in, Michael does what any new father would do—he fights to keep his family together.

Kate Maruyama’s debut novel, Harrowgate, is a chilling, richly detailed story of love, loss, and the haunted place that lies between.