“Something very strange is happening in LeHorn’s Hollow…
Eerie, piping music is heard late at night, and mysterious fires have been spotted deep in the woods. Women are vanishing without a trace overnight, leaving behind husbands and families.
When up-and-coming novelist Adam Senft stumbles upon an unearthly scene, it plunges him and the entire town into an ancient nightmare. Folks say the woods in LeHorn’s Hollow are haunted, but what waits there is far worse than any ghost. It has been summoned…and now it demands to be satisfied.” – Amazon’s summary
I absolutely love mythology / folklore based fiction, and I would say that Dark Hollow does not disappoint. A satyr is awoken in the woods of a peaceful Pennsylvania town during spring – otherwise known as “rutting season.” The satyr calls to the women of the town so that he can “spread his seed.” Our narrator, Adam Senft, witnessed the satyr in action. When multiple women disappear, Adam and his neighbors struggle to come up with a solution on their own, since going to the police with such an outlandish story would put them behind bars if not a nuthouse. And when Adam’s wife, along with a neighbor’s wife, begin hearing the satyr’s call, they desperately work to understand what they are up against to put a stop to it once and for all.
I guess I would warn that this book does not have a happy ending, but not every book can I suppose. Despite the tragedies that come about during and after the ultimate climax, I really enjoyed the book as a whole. I found myself smiling at the easy, neighborly banter that was sprinkled throughout the book – sort of like comedic relief but also just real-to-life riffing between friends. In other words, the jokes are not forced for the sake of comedic relief.
Something that gave me pause was pondering about one power the satyr exhibited. He used his pan flute to call to the women and basically hypnotize and control them, and he could also make them hostile with it. The things that the women said about / to their husbands were cruel to say the least. What I found myself wondering was, could he plant those thoughts in their heads or only make them say the worst thoughts they’ve ever had, even if those thoughts were very brief and were dismissed immediately. And if those hurtful thoughts indeed were stewing in the backs of these women’s minds, does that make them less pitiable? The obvious answer is no. They were not in control of themselves, and if we are honest with ourselves we all have shitty thoughts that we are consciously able to identify as intrusive and dismiss them. The question only came to me because the men in the story are more in the foreground, they are our narrators, the hopeful heroes, and it’s obvious that the hateful words from their loved ones cut deep as it would for any of us I’m sure. Empathy is very often just a matter of who/what you are focusing on, and we should always remember that there is another side to listen to before we pass judgement.