Synopses & Reviews
An Esquire Best of Horror 2023 pick
"Without question, one of the most beautifully written books I've read this year." — The Wall Street Journal
"Can a horror story be beautiful? Wild Spaces tells a terrible truth in the most achingly beautiful way." — Alma Katsu, author of The Fervor
Robert R. McCammon's Boy's Life meets Lovecraftian horror in this foreboding, sensual coming-of-age debut in which the corrosive nature of family secrets and toxic relatives assume eldritch proportions.
An eleven-year-old boy lives an idyllic childhood exploring the remote coastal plains and wetlands of South Carolina alongside his parents and his dog Teach. But when the boy's eerie and estranged grandfather shows up one day with no warning, cracks begin to form as hidden secrets resurface that his parents refuse to explain.
The longer his grandfather outstays his welcome and the greater the tension between the adults grows, the more the boy feels something within him changing — physically — into something his grandfather welcomes and his mother fears. Something abyssal. Something monstrous.
"Painfully human in the way that only the best fiction manages, and beautifully written with not a wasted word." — Brian Evenson, award-winning author of The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell
"Both wrenching family drama and fantastical monster story...Coney is a writer to watch." — Publishers Weekly
"Beautiful and searing." — Library Journal
About the Author
S. L. Coney obtained a master's degree in clinical psychology before abandoning academia to pursue a writing career. The author has ties to South Carolina, and roots in St. Louis. Coney's work has appeared in St. Louis Noir, Best American Mystery Stories 2017, and Gamut Magazine.