Willow Rose writes interesting stories and Edwina, although full of grotesque descriptions, is a good story. Her genre is horror. Grotesque, horrible, weird, and gross descriptions are what the genre is all about. I will write positive things about the story but there is one thing about this Kindle edition of Edwina that I find extremely annoying, almost to the point that I do not want to read further things by the author. It is a structural thing.
Edwina is listed on Amazon as a 322-page novel. It sells for USD 3.99 but is a free read through Kindle Unlimited. I read it for free and would have tried to get a refund if I had paid the full purchase price. The story is over at the 61% point. Advertising for other books by the author begins at the 63% point. If I had paid full price for the 322-page novel, I would have ended my reading experience on approximately page 195. After that, everything is advertising, samples, and selected chapters from other stories. The term “rip off” comes to mind. So much for the rant. On to the story.
Line Petersen is a social worker with responsibility for placing children into foster homes. Edwina was considered a special case and Line was careful to ensure that Marie-Therese understood Edwina’s status. Line was no novice at this; she handled many special cases. As she would later remark in one of the memorable lines from this novel “a one-eyed thirteen-year-old who spoke to imaginary unicorns was harder to sell.” (Kindle locations 2065-2066). Edwina, however, was special in different ways.
Edwina would be the third foster care child Marie-Therese took in. She just loved to help children. Also, this third child with a two thousand dollar per month government stipend would allow Marie-Therese to quit the nursing job she didn’t like and stay home to provide quality care to the children. She was able to overlook the disfiguring lump on Edwina’s face and the strange looks from the girl’s glaring and glowing green eyes. Edwina made sounds more than she spoke; she could speak but chose to make sounds. Doctors had examined Edwina for the physical deformity as well as a speech problem but all had given up and ascribed all of Edwina’s problems to Chernobyl, a place where Edwina had lived with her birth mom. Mom and Dad were dead and Edwina had moved through a series of unsuccessful foster care assignments. Social workers made sure Marie-Therese knew all the facts. She did, she accepted all conditions and was ready to help.
Marie-Therese returned home with Edwina and introduced her to the other two foster care children. Ida was cooking, as she usually was. Marie was lucky to have such a talented foster care child who could do all the cooking, shopping, and household chores. Edwina had her own room which she stayed in most of the time. Because Marie had locked the door. After a couple of neighborhood incidents, there was a growing feeling that bad things happened when Edwina was around. Edwina probably had nothing to do with the neighbor girl, Linda, who had fallen to her death from a treehouse. Probably. And she couldn’t have had anything to do with Thomas, the neighbor next door and Linda’s father who had grown mysteriously ill and spent much time in the hospital almost to the point of dying. After Linda’s death, he had gotten better and returned home. Doctors were not sure what had caused his illness. Marie-Therese didn’t blame Edwina for these things. She just kept the door to Edwina’s room locked.
During periods of contemplation, while watching soap operas, a time while Ida was cooking, cleaning, and running household errands, Marie decided that increased praying and renewed church attendance would solve Edwina’s problems and make her a more social person. Even if Edwina didn’t go to church, Marie-Therese would go and pray for Edwina. Marie would discuss her situation and get guidance from other Godly people. Two of the parishioners, the elderly Bering twins, recognized the evil that was Edwina. According to the twins, either Edwina would end up destroying the town or The Priest would do battle with evil and save them all.
If you are a fan of horror, this is fun to read. If you are not a fan, you should not read it and then complain about how horrible some events and descriptions are. I have never understood the inability of many to close a book, change a channel, or turn off a television. I gave this story four Amazon stars despite my irritation with its structure. And because I was able to read it for free.