In the town of Night Vale, there’s a faceless old woman who secretly lives in everyone’s home, but no one knows how she got there or where she came from…until now. Told in a series of eerie flashbacks, the story of The Faceless Old Woman goes back centuries to reveal an initially blissful and then tragic childhood on a Mediterranean Estate in the early nineteenth century, her rise in the criminal underworld of Europe, a nautical adventure with a mysterious organization of smugglers, her plot for revenge on the ones who betrayed her, and ultimately her death and its aftermath, as her spirit travels the world for decades until settling in modern-day Night Vale.
Interspersed throughout is a present-day story in Night Vale, as The Faceless Old Woman guides, haunts, and sabotages a man named Craig. In the end, her current day dealings with Craig and her swashbuckling history in nineteenth century Europe will come together in the most unexpected and horrifying way.
Part The Haunting of Hill House, part The Count of Monte Cristo, and 100% about a faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home.
I cannot explain how hard this review is to write. I am a long time and loyal fan of Welcome to Night Vale having been listening since the early days around episode 15 I think. The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home was easily one of my favourite characters from the first time we were introduced to her. I was so excited that she was getting her own book.
Unfortunately this book was not as good as I had hoped for and is almost a lesson of be careful what you wish for. I will be upfront that 90% of my dislike for this book is that it reads as historical fiction a genre that if you are familiar with my tastes, I do not in general enjoy. The story overall is interesting enough, I do like that there is some mystery preserved for example we never discover the main character’s name. I did find there were moments when I really couldn’t care much about the plot.
It was only about 75% into the book that it really for me started to feel like a Welcome To Night Vale story which was good but I would have preferred the creepy weirdness to have started earlier in the story (this excludes the modern day interludes). This book is much more sinister that I expected and has definitely altered permanently my view of The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home.
But really my biggest disappointment is that for me this book does not live up to the myth and mystique that surrounds The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home. I probably would have enjoyed this book more if it wasn’t related in any way to Welcome To Night Vale and was just a random Fantasy/Horror. Perhaps some secret backstories should stay secret.
A Review Copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
I give The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home:
The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink was released 24 March 2020 by Harper Collins. You can purchase your own copy at Mighty Ape, Whitcoulls, Booktopia, Harper Collins, or wherever you like to purchase books.