*Let me start by thanking Alexander Beresford for providing this novel to me. It was a treat to read and I'm sure it will haunt me for days to come.
Charla is the story of a mother who is hell-bent on making her daughter Amelie's life a living hell. She's so intent on causing as much pain and discord for Amelie that she summons a demon into their home to do her dirty work for her. Before long, the demon does his job, all too well, and Amelie's blissful existance begins to crumble. The novel is short so I don't want to give too much away but yes! Amelie goes through it all because her mother hates her (has always hated her) and what she feels is Amelie's "perfect" life.
Beresford does a great job at fully developing Charla so much so that I actually feel sorry for her. I know she's evil, bitter, insane, cunning and in no way deserving of my sympathy but anyone with that much hate and guile makes me feel sorry for them. To be consumed with that much animosity takes the life out of any normal person and frankly is too much energy and time wasted. I also feel like Charla is a coward. She shouldn't have enlisted the help of a demon to cause her daughter harm. She should have had the courage to do it her self and live with the consequences of those actions. Instead she places blame on others around her even when the evidence of her intent is obvious to certain onlookers. I also wish I had a little more info on her relationship with her own mother.
Amelie, a dimensional character as well, rightfully has my sympathy. She is in her early 20s and has no clue that her mother despises her. It goes against everyone's idea of a mother. Mother's are supposed to take care of us, be affected when we're in pain and not be the cause of it. I also feel that she's gullible in this sense or at the least blinded by her own love for her mother. It's hard to admit the one we love is causing us the most pain. She didn't know her mother was scheming against her, but is it really possible to be that naive? Her father was able to see her mother for the manipulative bit#& that she is, so I'm concerned with why she wasn't able to.
I feel that this horror novel deals with a lot of themes and issues that are prevalent in society. The relationship of a mother and daughter and what it's supposed to be. The hate that we let into our homes. Trust, honesty, and envy are all there. Beresford is able to make these issues relevant in an extremely fast paced, fun horror novel. These evils we invite in our homes manifest in the worse ways possible and ultimately destroy our lives. So in conclusion, I am happy I read this book and I can't wait until his next book comes out. I thank him once more for providing the book. I recommend this book to fans of horror novels. ****