Creatures by Crissy Van Meter

creaturesI’m so thankful Algonquin approached me about being on the blog tour for Crissy Van Meter’s novel, Creatures, because this debut was one of the best books I’ve read this year.

The story centers around Evie, beginning on the eve of her wedding, and her dysfunctional family. We feel the long-lasting impact of growing up with neglect, abandonment, and parentification. How it affects a child’s future self and future relationships. The deep, never-satiated ache for parents who aren’t what they should be. The struggle to break the cycle. This is going to be a tough read for anyone raised by parents with addiction or Cluster B personality disorders, but wow, will those readers ever feel seen. I think, in a lot of ways, this novel is a therapeutic read, too.

The prose is so stunning that, in places, it reads like poetry. It’s lush without wasting a single word. This story isn’t told linearly; it glides through time, in and out of different key moments in Evie’s life. It has to, because her past affected her future, and her present gives insight into that past. I was completely enveloped in her story from start to finish.

“I never told anyone that I just wanted my mother to get me, just once…because how do you ask someone to see you?”

I loved the ending, how everything came full circle and then moved beyond that circle. Yes, it was open-ended, but it was also satisfying and gently healing.

Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. It your book club is looking for a novel that isn’t too long (around 250 pages) and has endless things to talk about, Creatures is a solid choice that is sure to be memorable.

CW: drug abuse, alcoholism, child neglect and abandonment, houselessness, implied Cluster B personality, underage sex (including adult/minor).