Because Ideas Matter...
The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences presents
A Twisted Ladder
by Rhody Hawk, Forge, 2009
Reviewed by Eloise Sureau-Hale
A Twisted Ladder is a psychological
thriller by Rhodi Hawk. A great novel about schizophrenia, voodoo,
family curse, genetics, river devils and unexplained suicides!
The story follows simultaneously the life
of Dr Madeleine LeBlanc, psychologist on the faculty at Tulane
University in 2009, and that of her great grand-mother Chloe, a
century ago. Both women are plagued with strange characters that
only they can see and interact with.
As Maddie starts to see things she knows
are not really there, she begins to wonder. Is she mentally ill
like her father and her brother? Or is she, like them, gifted with
a strange ability that allows her mind to wander to a place filled
with bramble and creatures from another world? Who is Chloe really
and why does she knows so much? And who is Zenon, this seemingly
evil man who follows Maddie with a secret purpose? How is he able
to make her body stop dead in its tracks? Does he too possess an
ability? Of what sort and how did he acquire it? Maybe Severin, the
strange child that only Maddie can see holds the key to the family
secret, dating back to Chloe's husband Rémi in the 1910's, and his
first encounter with the "river devil" Ulysses.
Once you are done with the book, in light
of what you know, you will want to start it all over again. A must
read in the pure tradition of Southern Gothic, but with a nice
- Eloise Sureau-Hale is Associate Professor of French at Butler