In this debut novel by Matthew Brockmeyer, hippy idealists Rebecca and Calendula move to the hills of Humboldt County to run Coyote’s pot growing operation, hoping to earn enough money to buy a plot of land for themselves. The only problem is, the land itself has a long history of death and malevolence, and it doesn’t take too long before they start to feel its influence. This book has a slow build; however, Mr. Brockmeyer is talented enough so that it never gets boring or dull. One can almost envision him moving his characters as if they’re pieces on a chess board, setting them up for a final conclusion that you won’t forget anytime soon.
What else can I say about this? Lots of things – it’s well written, shocking, and at times it’s reminiscent of The Shining, though this story is its own beast. The characters feel real, and even when they’re making poor decisions, it’s always clear why they’re doing so. Mr. Brockmeyer obviously put a lot of thought into their motivations and actions. For those of you who are already familiar with his short stories, you know that they’re dark, melancholic, and a hell of a lot of fun – Kind Nepenthe is no exception. Get it, you won’t be sorry.
Get it here.