Once Upon a Lane by Duncan Wilson
Published: November 23, 2019
Genre: Horror, Slice-of-life, Paranormal, Suburban Gothic
Pages: 166 (Print Length)
Tour Dates: March 10th–March 16th
“There once was a lane, filled with well-tended lawns and well-fostered friendships, of well-appointed houses all neat and tidy and those that live within, of stories and mysteries that manifest for only fleeting moments for the few who pay attention. This is one such tale. A tale about pleasant people, about the lives they live, about their wants and dreams, about their loves and losses, their joys and hates, about their days and nights in the company of cherished companions in the houses they call home. In this tale of the happy little lives of blissful simple folk, there are monsters, to be sure. But this is not the story of monsters, this is not the tale of their evil deeds, this is the tale of those they make suffer. In this tale, the monsters have no names. The monsters do not deserve names.”
A character driven slice-of-life story that follows the humble lives of the residents of a suburban neighborhood as they live and love, and about the house with the dead yard, a vacant lot, that sits among their homes, inert and immobile, yet intimidating and terrifying to any who look at it too long. The children of the lane are not the only ones who are fearful of the anomaly in their midst. Every adult upon the lane wonders why the structure still stands, with no known owner and no reason to be. The lingering question is not who owns the house, but why no one ever goes in or comes out, and why there are such ghastly noises emanating from within. Day by day, the happy people of the lane go about their tasks and trials, and day by day, the house with the dead yard seems a little more ominous, a little more intrusive, and a little less ignorable than before.
We often think of characters as people (or animals). It has been a while since I read a book where the place itself is a character. Once Upon A Lane by Duncan Wilson is intriguing because the plot is strong, the vast array of characters are compelling, and this doesn’t obey the typical rules of genre.
There are many, many characters. However, do not let this sway you away from reading because it is very clear which characters are important and which are background, and I had no trouble keeping up. The Lane is the most important character here. The rest are side characters to amplify the main one.
The Lane is intriguingly described. I could see the details I was given, very easily. The story itself is hard to explain, and I think it is one you’d enjoy going in without knowing too much. It sounds odd, but it was so worth the read.
I highly recommend giving this one a chance!!
*I received a free copy of this book from Storytellers On Tour to review honestly on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*
Duncan Wilson has been writing since childhood, having fallen in love with the written word at a very early age. Having spent his formative years in various libraries, he can bore his friends on a variety of subjects. Inspired by the natural world and the splendors of the heavens, he writes primarily science fiction and paranormal stories. He has a novel and two novellas published on Amazon and Smashwords, and an additional novella and several short stories published on Patreon.
You can support me by buying me a book.