A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
October 6, 2023 10:50 PM - Subscribe

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to manifest troubling symptoms of mental illness.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

Winner of the 2015 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel
posted by miss-lapin (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This one really got under my skin. I liked the uncertainty as to whether there was actually something supernatural happening or not.
posted by maryellenreads at 1:15 PM on October 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

I loved this one! Funny and charming enough to get your guard down, but genuinely frightening.
posted by quatsch at 9:25 AM on October 11, 2023

Very good book, and like the best horror novels, there's an underlying foundation of sadness and loss.
posted by zardoz at 1:04 AM on February 3

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