Wednesday 19 April 2023

LINGHUN by Ai Jiang


Follow Wenqi, Liam, and Mrs. in this modern gothic ghost story by Chinese-Canadian writer and immigrant, Ai Jiang. LINGHUN is set in the mysterious town of HOME, a place where the dead live again as spirits, conjured by the grief-sick population that refuses to let go.

I would like to thank the author for sending me a review copy of this very unique novella.

Wenqi's family have moved into HOME because her parents want to reconnect with the ghost of their dead son. But she doesn't want to be there and is constantly at odds with her obsessed mother. When she meets the mysterious Liam, she thinks they're forming a real friendship but he might have nefarious plans of his own...

Linghun is such a haunting and peculiar story that grabbed my attention instantly. Not only does it focus on the effect that loss has on people, but also introduces a very strange and wondrous place where families can move into certain houses in hopes of enticing the spirits of their dead partners, offspring or relatives to return.

The atmosphere in HOME is as surreal as it is dark. The mysterious vibes are creepy and the way this place works is intriguing. Not only are spirits encouraged to come home, but there are also humans called lingerers who live in frontyards and waste their lives away while waiting for a house. 

And auction days are absolutely terrifying. Yikes. 😳

I really enjoyed this disquieting tale about a young girl who has been forgotten and lives in the shadow of her dead brother. It's heartbreaking to see how her mother ignores and resents her, only focuses on the child she lost without sparing a thought for the one who's actually there.

Several other interesting characters, like Mrs. and Liam fill the pages of this novella. Both tie into Wenqui's story and in their own way, add an extra layer of sadness.

I think this is a great exploration of how life, death, grief, hope, and love shape our world. It's also a haunting and melancholy ghost story with just the right amount of horror.

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