It is 1892 and a disturbing number of young adults have committed suicide in Sunny Harbour, New York over the past few years. Alfred is a creative writer and student at Brown University and he visits the eerie harbour town for the summer. He struggles with depression and is drawn to the story of Sunny Harbour’s suicides.
He plans to discover the mysterious place where all of the suicides’ bodies were tossed. As he digs for information, he is met with hostility from the townsfolk, especially from store owner Caleb McFarlane.
Sarah, a closet writer, secretly shows Alfred where the bodies were placed. The quest leads Alfred to a pistol duel with Caleb, who is Sarah’s husband. As Alfred stares death in the face, he is left to wonder if his project was in vain.
An unlikely ally steps in to end the showdown, but Alfred’s salvation comes at a great cost – one that he may never recover from.
“Tell me a sad story, Alfred.”
While the ending of this little tale will leave you a little heartbroken, it’s far from a reason to not want to read this novella. If anything, the ending leaves you satisfied and wishing you could take the ride all over again.
I have to first start off by saying this isn’t my normal genre to go to. Having read this novella, though, I think perhaps I might try it more often. Well written, this novella is a quick, enjoyable read. It’s twists and turns keep you on your toes, and never feels dull or predictable. The dialogue, along with the story and character arches, are paced in a way that keeps your attention and keeps you turning the page.