Monday's Child - Patricia Wallace

(No Series)

Jill Baker was such a pretty little girl, with long, honey-blond hair and haunting gray-green eyes. Just one look at her angelic features could dispel all the nasty rumors that had been spreading around town. Like the crazy old country doctor's story about Jill's mother vanishing right in front of his eyes just seconds after giving birth. Or eight-year-old Katy's ridiculous statement that cousin Jill could cry emerald-green tears.

Of course, there were all those terrible accidents that had begun to plague the community. The neighborhood boy who fell out of the oak tree...The nurse who stepped in front of a barreling school bus...The teenage soda jerk who stuck his hand in a whirring mixmaster...But the fact that each victim had previously angered little Jill had to be merely coincidence. After all, such a beautiful child couldn't possibly be capable of hideous, unnatural evil...

This is an oldie from 1989 but one in my collection I itched to read. Who wouldn't be intrigued by that cover?

Weighing in at a mere 289 pages, Monday's Child focuses on a strange girl, Jill, where the reader is never quite sure what she is. I left not knowing either. From the beginning with her bizarre birth, to her strange schooling, and finally some sort of metamorphosis, I still stayed lost but strangely stayed glued to the book. Plot wise not a lot is answered, but the mystery is still fun to sort through, with strange happenings and some semi-compassionate characters. It's nothing overly complex, but it's also not a run-of-the-mill plot rehash, which is a welcome change in horror.

Jill seemed a unique, interesting being - alien? Vampire of sorts? Who knows? - who doesn't feel much emotion for people but does have small smidgings of compassion. I'm still not sure what the ending with her was supposed to signify. Character-wise I grew fond of the mother and aunt, who stood out with their realistic traits and colorful additions. The story is told in third-person, where we're able to jump around in the head of others and know what's happening at all sides.

Suspense is present but not too heady, at the end the climax is fierce enough for this short of a story. Wallace writes well, keeping it simple and sweet, to the point and not weighing scenes down by senseless description. Violence does occur but nothing overtly brutal and high in number. Sex does not play a role in this book in any form. Gore isn't heavy either, but instead more is left to the imagination, particularly with the 'blender' accident.

Strangely the back cover blurb does not exactly match the story. Jill never cries emerald tears, so I'm not sure if the person who wrote the cover blurb even read the story, or if that was emitted later. Also, the town never knew of the doctor's story with the mother disappearing before his eyes. In fact, it shows at the beginning that he clearly chose to tell no one because he knew they wouldn't believe him. A boy never falls out of a oak tree, either.

Overall it's worth a read if it's laying around but not worth searching for to purchase. It's a story that's forgettable but fun to read while experiencing it, if that makes sense. I'm sure all readers here understand my statement when I say that.

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