The Night Strangers: A Novel
by Chris Bohjalian
Hardcover- N/A

"A page-turner of uncommon depth. Guilt, egotism, and fear all play parts in the genre-bending novel."—Booklist, Starred Review

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  "Night Stangers" by ncvlib (see profile) 12/06/11

What a great book for a discussion. Airline crashes, herblists (witches), and ghosts! Bohjalian is the king of wicked twists and this one will not disappoint. We were blessed to have the author for a speaker phone discussion of this book which was awesome. He provided stories from his research as well as insight into how this storyline became a novel. One of our favorite authors!

  "The Night Strangers" by booker14 (see profile) 10/20/12

OK read. Fair rating overall.

  "Not Quite as Fantastic is Bohjalian's Other Books" by ebach (see profile) 05/17/22

I thought I had already read everything written by Chris Bohjalian, but I missed THE NIGHT STRANGERS until a few days ago. I love Bohjalian's books but might not have read them if I had started with this one. That is not to say this book is poorly written. It was the subject matter that didn't appeal to me. I would still call it a four-star book; it just isn't worth the five stars I usually give him.

After Chip Linton, an airline pilot whose plane crash landed in a lake, and his wife, Emily, and twin daughters move to an old home in New Hampshire, he begins experiencing what appeared to me to be hallucinations. One of their new neighbors, Anise, regularly brings them her homemade food, and I believed she was spiking it with a hallucinogen.

It's easy to understand why I believed that. Anise is among a group of especially friendly and helpful neighbors who are all herbalists with greenhouses in their backyards where they grow both normal and exotic herbs. Each member of this group is even named after an herb.

THE NIGHT STRANGERS is about Chip seeing and speaking with the ghosts of dead passengers on his ill-fated plane but, also, about this group of herbalists. Are they a cult?

The book is told from the points of view of various characters, mostly of the family members, including the 9-year-old twins, Hallie and Garnet. It is these girls who are in danger throughout THE NIGHT STRANGERS from both their father and his ghosts and from the herbalists.

If I had ever known for sure that Chip's ghosts were all in his head and certainly not real, I might have taken this story more seriously. More than that, I didn't see how the end could be as it was written. To me, it is unacceptable, especially Emily, who finally understood the danger of the herbalists if not of her husband.

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