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"The Unwanted"

1 rating: 3.0
A thriller by John Saul

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Author: John Saul
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Bantam
Date Published: 10-01-1987
ISBN: 9780553266573
1 review about "The Unwanted"

"Lonliness and the feeling of being unwanted is ...terrible." Teresa Calcutta

  • Feb 20, 2011

Sixteen-year-old Cassie Winslow feels alone and unwanted after her mother dies in an automobile accident.

Her parents were divorced and her father remarried.  Now her father has Cassie come to live with his family in Cape Cod. When she arrives, she makes friends with her neighbor, Eric Cavanaugh, who is the same age. However, most of the other students at her high school take the lead from Eric's former girlfriend, Lisa Chambers. As bullies, they shut her out and make hurtful comments about her so that Cassie doesn't know how to fit in.

Cassie becomes drawn to the one person in town who is also alone, the eccentric Miranda. Miranda is considered odd and lives by herself in a home by the Marsh.

When Cassie comes to Miranda's home, they talk. Miranda tells her that now, Cassie is hers and that she, Miranda, won't let anyone harm her. Besides being eccentric, Miranda has the power to communicate and control a cat and an albino hawk that live at her home.

At her father's home, Cassie feels like an intruder and eventually comes to think of Miranda's house as her real home.

As the days go by, Cassie and Eric bond. Eric is also a friend of Miranda and when Eric is also mistreated by other students and one of his coaches, we observe strange, supernatural things happen to them. Is it witchcraft? Is it just a coincidence?

John Saul does a standout job in keeping the reader guessing while at the same time providing a high level of suspense. The pacing is well done with moments of intense suspense followed by calmness, thus making the next moment of fear more intense. Toward the conclusion, the action propelled faster and faster as possible supernatural forces follow Eric and Cassie.

The author also provides some twists and surprises. I enjoyed the novel but did feel that some of the action was predictable.  Nevertheless, I felt entertained.

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February 21, 2011
Horror doesn't usually press my buttons but this does sound interesting. Nice job, Mike.
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