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The House in the Pines: A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller - a twisty thriller that will have you reading through the night

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Again, Steven bringing the common sense. I feel like he is the only one who might understand all this.

House in the Pines - Jen Ryland Spoiler Discussion for The House in the Pines - Jen Ryland

I talk about the Guatemalan interlude in my review of The House in the Pines. I read an interview with the author who said that the Guatemala stuff was a clue that the house wasn’t real because … magical realism. I could be on board with a magical realism thriller. But then why throw in the hypnosis (which seemed very science-based) and the gaslighting, which was just garden variety toxic male gaslighting. Maya tells her mom that she’s afraid to tell Dan about her drug addiction. Maya’s mom is worried about her daughter going off the drugs, as she says benzo withdrawal makes people paranoid.Maya shows the Youtube video to her boyfriend, Dan. He points out that the girl who died looks like Maya. My opinion: House in the Pines was kind of just a book about a creepy old librarian who gaslit a teenage girl, possibly abused her (did he sleep with her or just invade her mind?), and basically ruined her life by either killing her best friend (who was trying to get Maya to leave Frank) or convincing her that he did. So he’s either a murder and/or an abuser. Is this a new Frank murder victim? I don’t think Gary or Ruby or the fire are ever discussed at the end. Or did I miss it?

House in the Pines Book Club Questions and Discussion Guide The House in the Pines Book Club Questions and Discussion Guide

I am so confused at this point. Is this a murder mystery, a paranormal, an unreliable narrator thriller, an addiction recovery story, a metaphor about religion and renewal, or the story of a teenager being groomed and abused by an older man? (Spoiler: it’s all of them.) Have you read The House in the Pines and are completely lost and confused? Here is a character list, plot elements, the ending explained, and a Spoiler Discussion for The House in the Pines. That said, I was not a fan of a woman lead character, once again, harboring alcohol and drug abuse. I’m extremely tired of this plot device in thrillers. It’s overdone at this point.I love literary symbolism, but in this book it feels thrown in there haphazardly: ghosts, holy spirits/religion, nature, drugs, art, gaslighting, abuse, hypnosis. All we need is a TikTok video that makes you drop dead after watching it. Thanks for stopping by my Spoiler Discussion for the House in the Pines! Somehow I find it funny (in a good way) that Maya’s “for you” Youtube recommendations are the inciting incident of this book.

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