Book Review: The Hay Bale by Priscilla Bettis

Contemporary Southern Gothic meets weird horror in this new novelette from Priscilla Bettis.

Professor Claire Davenport yearns to be a mother. After suffering four miscarriages, the university microbiologist tries and fails to qualify as an adoptive mother. Then Claire’s husband leaves.

Alone and emotionally wounded, Claire takes a summer sabbatical from her microbiology classes and escapes to rural Virginia to heal. There, she meets local farmers with strange agricultural practices.

Claire moves into the historic manor house she rented for the summer, and an abandoned child greets her. Is the child real, an answer to her prayers? Or is he a figment of her tormented emotions? Perhaps the tight-knit locals are playing a trick on the science lady from the city.

Whatever the boy’s origin, Claire is determined to find the truth, but the truth may be bloody.

I loved this fast read. It was full of mystery and suspense. Was she crazy? Was she really experiencing paranormal activity at the place she stayed at? Did that horrible ritual really happen in that farm town 200 years ago? All those questions motivated me to keep reading. I was satisfied with the ending and enjoyed the creepiness of some of the characters.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby