Curses and Other Buried Things by Caroline George

“Caroline won me over with Dearest Josephine, impressed me further with The Summer We Forgot, and then left me speechless with Curses and Other Buried Things.”

Review by AnnaScott Cross

“Blood holds all kinds of curses.”

Seven generations of women in Susana Prather’s family have been lost to the Georgia swamp behind her house. The morning after her eighteenth birthday, she awakens soaked with water, with no memory of sleepwalking. No matter how she tries to stop it, she’s pulled from her safe bed night after night, haunted by her own family history and legacy. Now, the truth feels it’s only a matter of time before she loses her mind and the swamp becomes her grave. Unless she can figure out how to break the curse. When she isn’t sleepwalking, she’s dreaming of her great-great-great-great-grandmother, Suzanna Yawn, who set the curse in motion in 1855. Her ancestor’s life bears such similarity to her own that it might hold the key she seeks. Or it might only foretell tragedy. As Susana seeks solutions in the past and the present, family members hold secrets tighter to their chests, friends grow distant, and old flames threaten to sputter and die. But Susana has something no one else has been able to the unflagging belief that all curses can be broken and that love can help a new future begin. Based on her own family history, award-winning novelist Caroline George’s latest novel is a staggeringly beautiful work of hope.

Release Date: 10/10/2023

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Pages: 384

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I am writing a voluntary review.

I need Goodreads to create an extra feature on their rating system, because there are five star books, and then there are books like this.

Caroline won me over with Dearest Josephine, impressed me further with The Summer We Forgot, and then left me speechless with Curses and Other Buried Things. Each was beautiful in their own unique way, but this one is truly a masterpiece.

To start with, Caroline has so perfectly captured rural, southern living. Our slang and colloquialisms, the quirks about our communities, all of it. She brought Berryville to life, both through the people who lived there and the landscape around them. Each character was so well developed and so real that I could see their equivalent in my own life.

The plot was equally as amazing. The way that the dual timelines wove together was seamless. The story builds so that the reader learns some life lessons, while still leaving some parts perfectly mysterious. I absolutely loved that so many of the plot points were based on Caroline’s family history and psychological findings (the way she tied everything in was brilliant), and I also loved that while there was this level of reality, there was just enough left as a supernatural mystery.

Susana’s story represents such a raw, honest side of humanity. The challenges and celebrations, the ups and the downs. I had to pause several times to fully appreciate some of the lines. Here’s a few of my favorites:

“Live a life so impossible that when you die and people tell your story, listeners will question whether you’re a tall tale.”

“I think if you look for it, you’ll find beauty in the uncomfortable things, the inconveniences, the uglies. You won’t cover your mouth when the air fills with dust. You’ll savor the earth, taste the smut. You’ll stop looking for perfect and instead relish simply existing.”

“You don’t have to change all the dirt, but a little change – the addition of something new – does wonders. Even plants can’t reach their full potential in familiar ground. Same goes for people, I suppose. We all need to change our dirt from time to time. . . Until you change your dirt, you won’t know where you best grow.”

I’m sure there are other things I could rave about, but suffice it to say this book was stunning.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Ratings:

Action & Gore:

Rating: 3 out of 10.
3. Mild action (common injuries with come details).

Romance & Spice:

Rating: 3 out of 10.

Cursing & Vulgarity:

Rating: 2 out of 10.
2. Frequent substitute cursing (commonplace "craps" etc. and/or book-specific words).

Other Trigger/Content Notices:


Our Reviews of Other Books by this author:

One comment

  1. Ah, I haven’t read this one yet, but I have heard good things. Living in a small town in North Carolina, I can get on board with a book with Southern vibes—especially seeing that it’s also my favorite genre. Thanks for the review/recommendation!

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