I’ve been chasing the high I felt after reading Small Favors by Erin A. Craig last year ever since I finished that beautifully dreadful prairie Gothic, and I think I’ve finally found something I can compare it to: What We Harvest by Ann Fraistat.
While this book takes place (presumably) in the modern day, and there’s no confusion of “is this a cult or a homesteading settlement,” the story does center around a community of farm families who are facing an unexplained horror that is devastating their crops.
The founding families of Hollow’s End have been farming the land there for generations. The family’s all have their own specialties that tourists call “miracle crops,” including the iridescent wheat that the main character’s family grows. But one day they begin to notice something strange: a silver-tinged mercury blight begins taking over the crops, people go missing, and slowly but surely, the farms start to fade and the town is put under a strict quarantine.
Then, infected animals begin to reappear at night, coming out from the fog-covered forest. A curfew is put in place to protect the remaining residents from whatever these creatures are, and no one is allowed to enter or leave the town.
If this sounds like a nightmare situation to you, you’re absolutely right. The main character, Wren, knows that these horrors are not natural, and only something sinister could cause her loved ones to stalk the town at night, taking whatever living things they can find back into the woods.
What We Harvest is a story of survival and hope, and doing whatever you can to save the people and places you love. There are secrets hiding in the forest, in cold, dark basements, and locked away in the past, but nothing stays hidden forever.
I found this book to be incredibly fast paced, dark, eerie, mysterious, and a little gory at times, with the perfect amount of teenage love and angst sprinkled in as well. If you’re a fan of YA horror be sure to pick this one up.
Thank you to the publisher, Penguin Teen Canada, for sending me a digital copy to read and review.