The Vines by Christopher Rice is a fantastic novel and is perfect for getting the reader revved up for Halloween. It's fast pace makes it hard to put down. On the surface it's a mix of creature feature, with plenty of creepy crawlers both animal & vegetable, and classic vengeful ghost story. Below the surface, however, the Vines is so much more. There are lessons to be learned from The Vines about betrayal, the consequences of our actions, the consequences of past cruelties and present intolerance. The characters in the Vines, even the minor ones, have their own back stories that add quite a bit to the overall story in general, from the sheltered rich girl, who gets a reality check from her adulterous husband, setting the events of the novel in motion to the adulterous husband himself, a character who is pretty much MIA but whose past indiscretions drive the plot forward. Then there are the heroes of the story, a man tragically altered by the death of his true love and being abandoned by his best friend, but is still capable of making the right decisions and a proud woman, who makes it her business to know the roots of where she came from, and how her ancestors were treated. It's worth mentioning the two very different father figures in The Vines, one who will do anything for the safety and security of his daughter and one who is unable to accept his son for who he is and ends up paying the ultimate price for it. There is so much more to the Vines than what is written here but I don't want to give too much away. I will say it is well written and worth the time and money to check out, I think there is a little bit for everyone to enjoy in this novel.
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