The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady HendrixPublication Date: April 7th 2020 by Quirk Books
Audio Length: 13 hrs 49 min
Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Source: Library Lend
About the book:
Fried Green Tomatoes and "Steel Magnolias" meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the '90s about a women's book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.
Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia's life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they're more likely to discuss the FBI's recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.
But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club's meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he's a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she--and her book club--are the only people standing between the monster they've invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.
My Thoughts:The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires wasn't your usual vampire book with the "nice" romantic versions. It was downright scary and gory in parts, but also had me laughing out loud.
Set in South in the early 90’s Patricia is a married housewife with two children in a very conservative type of family. The husband goes to work, the wife stays home and cares for the house and children: Husband is head of the house and his word goes. The only place Patricia feels independent is in her book club, where they read and discuss lots of real crime novels and wonder how they’d react in similar situations. Enter the handsome stranger, James, who moves into their idyllic neighborhood, and things get interesting and dangerous! Patricia is at first intrigued by James, but then little things niggle at her. She starts to get suspicious when people go missing and clues point to James.
I have to say I don’t remember the 1990s being like the 1950s where women were so subservient to men. I was newly married back then, and I don’t remember things being anything like what’s depicted here, but I live in Southern California so maybe the South was more traditional? It rankled especially when none of Patricia’s claims were taken seriously and her husband made her look like an idiot! I seriously wanted to strangle that man! There were also a few times I wanted to shake the women in Patricia’s book club, too! Wow, how much more can’t facts be staring you in the face and you choose to ignore them?! I will say these women rallied together when it counted most, though.
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Vampire Slaying was compared to Steel Magnolias meets Dracula, but it felt more like Desperate Housewives meets Dracula to me. It was an original mix of funny, odd, and frightening.