Ben Freitag is frazzled; he’s barely slept in weeks. After delivering beautiful, healthy twin boys, his wife, Chloe returned home diagnosed with a severe case of postpartum depression. Listless and lethargic, she seems to want nothing to do with them or Ben, who is running low on everything: love, energy, patience and time off from work. So when Chloe’s estranged great-grandmother, the almost mythical, Baba Fête, offers her assistance Ben welcomes her.
The seemingly ageless and vivacious Baba whooshes in, effortlessly managing the household and convinces Ben to go back to work; she will take care of the house and his family. Now Ben can get some sleep and return to some sense of normality.
Overwhelmed by Baba and lured back into the warm rhythm of work, Ben doesn’t notice what’s happening; something had invaded Ben’s home and is eating his family away—literally.
Every family has its share of quirky relatives and old rivalries. What the Freitag’s are dealing with, though, goes far beyond anything you could possibly imagine.
The character building in this tale was excellent. I got to know Ben’s personality so quickly and thoroughly that it only took me a few scenes to notice when he suddenly wasn’t acting like himself. This is a difficult thing to pull off in a short story. The fact that the author was able to do it so early on in the plot makes me eager to check out everything else they’ve written. I was really impressed, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
This is an extremely minor criticism, but I would have liked to see the narrator spend a little more time explaining what Ben and his family knew about Baba Fête before she arrived at their home. There were a few things about her relationship with them that I found slightly odd because of how quickly Ben glossed over what should have been early warning signs that something was wrong. This could have easily been explained with a little more attention paid to her origins and what she was capable of doing. Had it been explained fully, I would have given this book a perfect rating as I loved everything else about it!
Anticipating what scary things could happen next is a big part of why I like the horror genre so much. The pacing in this book gave me plenty of opportunities to wonder what Baba Fête was up to and why so many of the people around her were suddenly getting sick. I couldn’t wait to find out what was happening, but I was also glad that the author revealed it all so leisurely. That pacing style worked perfectly for the plot and the characters.
Baba Fête is a must read for anyone who enjoys being frightened as much as I do.