Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison | Horror Fiction Review

This was fantastic on audio! It almost made me look forward to housework. 

Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison

Released September 2023

Source: Library Borrow

Goodreads | Amazon

A cynical twentysomething must confront her unconventional family’s dark secrets in this fiery, irreverent horror novel from the author of Such Sharp Teeth and Cackle.

Nobody has a “normal” family, but Vesper Wright’s is truly...something else. Vesper left home at eighteen and never looked back—mostly because she was told that leaving the staunchly religious community she grew up in meant she couldn’t return. But then an envelope arrives on her doorstep.

Inside is an invitation to the wedding of Vesper’s beloved cousin Rosie. It’s to be hosted at the family farm. Have they made an exception to the rule? It wouldn’t be the first time Vesper’s been given special treatment. Is the invite a sweet gesture? An olive branch? A trap? Doesn’t matter. Something inside her insists she go to the wedding. Even if it means returning to the toxic environment she escaped. Even if it means reuniting with her mother, Constance, a former horror film star and forever ice queen.

When Vesper’s homecoming exhumes a terrifying secret, she’s forced to reckon with her family’s beliefs and her own crisis of faith in this deliciously sinister novel that explores the way family ties can bind us as we struggle to find our place in the world.

My 2 Cents for Free!

A cynical young woman with a craptastic job reluctantly returns to the hometown she fled several years earlier after receiving an unexpected wedding invitation. This scenario all sounds rather mundane, right? But there’s a lot of not-so-typical dysfunction behind Vesper’s reluctance to attend and a doozy of a secret and I will spoil the entire book if I mention any of it. So I won’t. It’s best to go in cold with this one.

As with all of this writer’s work, the story is a bit of a slow build, with creeping darkness lurking in the corners. I liked the scene building and character background info. but I did figure something out before the reveal and I think most people will too. Even when that happened, it was still a really cool reveal.

These characters aren't great people or at least I didn't think so but that's ok because it makes them feel more human. They act a bit gross to each other and the relationships are very toxic but that's the fun of it all. And there are some reasons for it . . .

I really enjoyed listening to the audio. It was one I didn't want to shut off which is unusual for me lately. I probably could've listened to it all in one go if I didn't have to do real life things that needed my attention. It starts out so slowly and reads like a dark edged contemporary family drama novel and then it turns beautifully evil.



  1. I really enjoyed Such Sharp Teeth. This one sounds equally good. And one I do want to read this year. When? I have no idea. ;D

    1. haha, I know the feeling! I hope you enjoy Black Sheep as much as I did when you get a chance to read it.

  2. Good job not spoiling it! I loved this book so much, so far Harrison can do no wrong😁

    1. Yep, it's definitely a book best going into blind!


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