Meredith Percy has a story to tell. And it better be good.
Someone at the rehab facility suggested that the reason her recovery may have stalled is because she is still clinging to her past. Perhaps. But maybe there is a reason she can’t move forward. Meredith decides to risk losing what she’s already gained and sneaks off, seeking answers from questionable sources. The quest she’s sent on is stymied when a freak summer snowstorm traps her in a roadside bar she swears shouldn’t be there. Even so, the kindly old barkeep is glad she made it and is not at all surprised when two more misfits arrive. They have stories to tell, as well.
Elijah Blanchard was on his way to a funeral. Yvonne Martinez was on her way home after visiting an old friend. As with Meredith, neither of them is where they expected to be. What’s even more troublesome is learning that none of them can leave until their secrets are revealed and their destinies made clear.
Meredith Percy has a story to tell. And you can believe it.
Meredith isn’t entirely sure how she got to the roadside bar called Overmorrow, or why it’s snowing unseasonably near California. She isn’t sure why her two fellow stranded travelers, Elijah and Yvonne, seem to believe they’re in entirely different places. Nor is she sure who the cheerful man behind the bar is, serving up food and drinks and encouraging the trio to talk confront their fears. But when answers do start flowing, they’re far removed from what anyone expects.
OVERMORROW is a genre-bender of a book, starting with a simple concept. Three travelers (including narrator Meredith) are holed up in a snowstorm, telling their life stories. However, all their stories have strange facets to them: dragon-like monsters, magical vehicles, demonic entities in mirrors, and witches living in the woods. Moreover, their hosts are equally strange. Dubbed “Angels” by Meredith, there are three of them as well—all encouraging the travelers to face their demons. But as the seemingly unending night goes on, it becomes apparent that the Angels may be speaking much more literally than the trio first believed.
The bulk of OVERMORROW, told without chapter breaks, lays out each character’s story. Yvonne is escaping an unhappy marriage and coping with the loss of her uncle. Elijah finds himself in strange circumstances with his cousin’s partner on the way to his boyfriend’s funeral. And Meredith, telling her story to the unseen “Evan,” is searching for her lost brothers while navigating rehab. While these stories are more than full enough of very real demons to conquer, eldritch elements creep around the edges of each one, coalescing into a surprise burst of worldbuilding.
To say much more than this would be to spoil a truly phenomenal surprise, as author H.L. Cherryholmes swerves the narrative into its own unique universe. While not every question is answered, several—the nature of the Angels, the location of Overmorrow, and the true identity of each character’s demon—are addressed in larger-than-life fashion. It’s an unconventional and thrilling piece of writing, and one that seems to promise more adventures to come for at least some of its characters.
If OVERMORROW seems to start slow and feel like many things that have come before, give it time. The signs of something bigger will emerge. It’s an intriguing puzzle box that rewards the dedicated reader, cracking open its seemingly tiny world into a vast, terrifying, but ultimately hopeful universe.
Whatever it may appear to be at first, OVERMORROW by H.L. Cherryholmes never stays that way for long: a “bottle story” that spans time and space, bending minds and genres in a three-pronged story of redemption.
~Kara Dennison for IndieReader
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