Book Review: The Family Tree by John Everson

Everson is at his best when he can write a compelling story that mixes horror with sex and in The Family Tree there is a lot of sex.

Scott Belvedere just inherited the Family Tree in from a relative he has met only once in a part of the country Scott’s father fled from. Not knowing his family history, Scott returns to his ancestral home to decide if he wants to sell the inn or continue to run it. Once there, he is shown the family tree, a tree that the inn was built around and has become rooted into the local traditions due largely to the healing qualities of its sap.

Everson has managed to craft a wonderful tale, following Scott as he leaves his home in Chicago to check out his inheritance. Scott isn’t too sure what he is going to do with the inn and barely remembers it from the one time his father visited home. Scott was much too young, and his father hasn’t talked about his family, making them all the more mysterious. Unfortunately for Scott, curiosity is what killed the cat. Now if he isn’t careful, it might also kill him.

There is a lot of sex in this novel. I knew coming into it that it was horror erotica, but it isn’t what I normally read so for people who know my normal tastes, I wanted to prepare you. The sap of the tree that heals as well as may just be the fountain of youth also tends to make people horny. At one point a couple starts having full on sex at the dinner table with everyone else there watching eagerly.

Which made me think of lot of the Bowie film, The Hunger. I haven’t seen that film in a long time, but I kept getting that vibe. This book isn’t about vampires, but there was a certain amount of creepiness that felt similar to me.

Overall, I liked this quite a bit and feel it to be one of my favorite Everson novels. I would recommend reading it.

4/5

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