This novel has been on my TBR list for a very long time. I love me a good horror story, but I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t able to find the time to fit this book in over the years. Well, since I live right beside my local library, I decided that I would borrow this book and make it my mission to FINALLY get it read!
Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are an ordinary couple. Guy is in the film industry, trying to make it onto the big screen. And Rosemary is happy to be by his side. When they land an apartment at The Bramford in New York City, it’s like a dream come true. As they move in, they begin to meet some of the other tenants in this building, like their elderly neighbours and their bizarre group of friends. Unused to this much interest, Rosemary and Guy try to be polite and accept the occasional dinner invitations. But soon, these neighbours become a much larger force in their lives. And by the time Rosemary realizes the dangers of it all, it’s too late…
This story…. where shall I start? The writing style here is unusual yet well done. Everything always sounds just a tad perky, like a happy housewife show where anything unusual is just dismissed as a coincidence or an accident. Rosemary does get creeped out at times but it is usually quite easy for her to just push it aside and move on. I really liked that effect because it put the reader on hyper-alert, waiting for that moment where Rosemary really cannot deny the truth that is in front of her. I liked the interesting characters from the Bramford, all of whom are friendly and seemingly harmless; they’re the kind of neighbours you wish you could have! Knowing that they are somehow involved made the story all the more creepy! I didn’t really like Guy as a character. He wasn’t a great husband and he was just so selfish throughout (this becomes even more apparent as you reach the end); I don’t know why Rosemary put up with it all. He did quite a few things that really bothered me – but I’m not going to say what because that will give away parts of the story!
I think the scariest part of this story wasn’t even the ending when all of the “horrors” are revealed; truth be told, the ending actually came off as ridiculously funny (maybe I just have a warped sense of humor?). The scary part was how little control Rosemary had over her life and her body. She was forced – ahem, coerced – to switch doctors, trust strangers, receive weird concoctions, isolate her friends, and much much more. And it scared me how little say she had over everything. Anything she pointed out was dismissed, and she was made to feel as if she was making a big deal out of nothing. Trying to imagine myself in a vulnerable situation like that, having others make all sorts of decisions on my behalf without asking me… well, that scares me. It scares me a lot.
Overall, this novel is quirky and set in the era of the “Sixties Housewife”, and it definitely gives you the creepy vibes so if you are looking for a creepy story, give this one a shot! It also has a sequel, and I will make sure to read it in a timely manner (hopefully) so stay tuned for that review!