The Story’s the Thing: The Hollow Trilogy
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Now that we’ve hit October, it’s time for creepy-crawlies and things that go bump in the night. Horror movies and haunted houses. Masks and costumes and the one night a year when getting candy from strangers becomes socially acceptable. And I get into the Halloween fun too. I love donning a costume and handing out candy for Trick or Treat. I enjoy carving pumpkins and going to haunted houses (sometimes). And while I don’t really do legit horror movies (or horror books), general Halloween-themed ones I love to read this time of year.
And my favorite ones of these Halloween-themed books? The Hollow trilogy (The Hollow, The Haunted, and The Hidden) by Jessica Verday.
The trilogy starts with a tragedy. The narrator Abbey’s best friend Kristen went missing a couple of months ago, and is now presumed dead…even though no body was ever found. Her parents are having a memorial service for her, burying an empty casket. Rumors are going around the small New York town of Sleepy Hollow (yes, of the Headless Horseman fame) that Kristen killed herself. And Abbey is, understandably, not taking the whole situation all that well.
And not long after the funeral, Abbey meets a few unique characters she’s never seen around before–Caspian, a handsome boy full of mystery; Nikolas, a kindly old man who is a self-appointed caretaker for the cemetary; and Nikolas’s wife Katy, who is just as kind as her husband. (Of course, in the second and third books, more mysterious and sometimes creepy characters get introduced…but you’ll have to read the books to find out about them.) The thing is, though…Abbey comes to learn rather quickly that none of these new people in her life are exactly what she may have expected.
Behind the overarching mystery, and the love story sub-plot, lays the classic story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. Each chapter begins with a relevant quote from that iconic ghost story. And as the novels progress, you see the legend coming to life before your eyes.
I fell in love with this story immediately. A couple of years ago, it sucked me in for the first time and hasn’t let me go since. The mysteries still intrigue me, the plot twists still shock me, the characters still fascinate me. And going back and re-reading, I catch all the sometimes very subtle foreshadowing. The end of the trilogy still makes me cry. Every time I read this story, my emotions run the entire spectrum–from creeped-out in the best Halloweeny way, to hopeful, to sad, to happy, back to sad, back to happy. (In other words, every time I read this story, I have a lot of feelings I need to deal with after finishing.)
It’s a great story for any time of year, really, but the nature of it is particularly Halloween-esque. I plan to re-read it sometime this October. Care to join me?