Afterward by Edith Wharton
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
I read this as part of the Classic Horror Lovers group, Tales to Chill Your Blood series that we started in October. A member reminded me that it was available in the Tales of Men and Ghosts collection, which is free on Kindle, so I was jazzed.
Overall, it didn't catch my interest. I found my attention wandering and boredom setting in as I read it. I think it was probably a situation where the writing style didn't work for me. Wharton seems to have a sort of elaborate, flowery style, and I usually don't care for that kind of writing. I didn't feel the tension build that much, even after the pivotal events occur. I was looking for that moment, I'll call it the 'crunch moment', although that is probably not the best word, and when it occurs, I didn't feel anything. I am a reader who likes to be involved in the story, and I felt detached from this story. I really didn't care about the characters. It's hard to feel horror or fear when you don't care and aren't drawn into the story.
While the idea was good, the execution didn't work for me. I'm disappointed because I was definitely looking for a good vintage ghost story to get my October Scare Fest started, and this wasn't the one.
Edith Wharton is obviously touted as a well-respected author, and I won't even try to dispute that. I do have to say she had quite a vocabulary, which is always enviable. Unfortunately, I'd have to say that this ghost story didn't work for me. I read it late, late at night in bed on my Kindle with the lights off, and I didn't feel a single chill. Not good for a ghost story. I'll try her again though.
Overall rating: 2.5/5.0 stars.
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