Home is a living, breathing creature that is just as important as the people inhabiting it, openly shedding its skin to the studs, a vector of change, and yet a gatekeeper of memory ... The piece hyper-focuses on small moments with Elise and the Mason family through a third-person omniscient narrator, which slows the pace of the novel considerably, though in this stillness there is an appreciation of the finer details ... When the pace does pick up, it sprints to the opposite end of the spectrum — highlighting the already tense atmosphere with loud, bombastic action, carrying the story into the realm of the downright terrifying, yet incredibly addicting.
Strange, outré—this remarkable debut novel is both of these and more ... Gnuse has done a brilliant job of making the implausible plausible and of creating characters, especially Eddie, who are simply unforgettable. The Louisiana setting is evocative and a marvel of verisimilitude. The sui-generis result is haunting and, like the characters, unforgettable.
After a tragedy, a young Louisiana girl returns to her former home, though there's another family already living in it ... Split into five parts, Gnuse’s debut tale is tense but not a thriller. There is always the threat of discovery hanging in the air, but the story focuses more on meandering meditations on Elise’s coping (or lack thereof) with the loss of her parents, Eddie’s vague differences from others his age, or Nick and Laura’s marital problems. Gnuse explores interesting ideas about masculinity as Marshall and Eddie attempt to “man up” and take care of their hidden-person problem in the face of their parents’ disbelief. As the situation spirals out of control for them, there are some genuinely frightening moments. However, despite the anxiety induced by the title, the plot is quite stagnant, mostly revolving around the fact that there is, indeed, a girl in the walls. A reader looking for more of a cat-and-mouse game will be disappointed.