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Passions

House of Leaves – Book Review

By Victoria Lafean

Dark places are what this novel amounts to. Dark places in a house, dark places in people and how it affects everyday life. What happens when a dark place in a house gets bigger, bigger, and bigger? What happens when it changes to more dark rooms, and hallways which don’t appear on the outside of the house? Are the people suffering from some form of mental illness seeing the house expand, or are the dark places within themselves expanding?

In the story, “House Of Leaves” you follow a family, the Navidsons and Johnny Traught. The Navidsons are a fictional family. Johnny, however, is an existing person following this family’s adventure in a book.    

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The Navidson family consists of Navy, Karen, and their two children who relocate to Ash Tree Lane in rural Virginia. They leave for a weekend and return home to a door that wasn’t there before. This door leads to a hallway.

The hallway is dark and cold; it takes several minutes to reach the end of it. Navy decides to attach padlocks to the newly appeared door so no one goes through. However, curiosity gets the best of him. He decides to venture inside the dark hallway. Within he finds that the hall leads to many different rooms. The dark and bitter cold surround him. As Johnny reads the story he begins to experience the same feelings as Navy does, bitter cold, and fear.

As you read, you follow Johnny’s story and his experience as he reads the Navidson story. A story within a story. This gives House Of Leaves a rare element that is not usually found in other books. Johnny connects to Navy in a way that pulls you in. His life begins to change, sometimes better and sometimes worse.

In the Navidson story, Navy acquires the help of his twin brother, and a few friends to help him explore this dark place in his home and within himself. Adventuring into dark places can mean that the turnout won’t be always happy. Death, fear, and infidelity can come into the light.

Johnny’s life changes from being really outgoing to becoming more and more withdrawn. All because of this book? In life, darkness and light both exist, but one has to decide which will overcome the other. House Of Leaves is an adventure thriller for the open-minded that tests human strength, not only mentally, but emotionally and physically.

Mark Z. Danielewski delivers an average score of four stars on Amazon and Goodreads. It is seven hundred and nine pages in length, however, don’t let that scare you, the pages will never stop turning once you start. As a bestseller, it has been translated into a number of languages and is followed by a companion piece, The Whalestoe Letters.

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Victoria Lafean has been writing since the age of seven. She previously focused on journalism in college, serving as editor in chief of the Erie Square Gazette and receiving a degree in Journalism. After starting a writer’s workshop at the Newton Falls Library in Ohio, and creating a monthly newsletter for The Pines at Brookhouse Assisted Living, Lafean shifted her focus to becoming a well-established author. Wicker Hill is her first novel and O.C.D One Cool Dude is her first children’s book. Both are available through Amazon and Createspace.

Lafean currently resides in Fort Irwin, California. Lafean’s husband Evan is currently serving as a soldier in the U.S Army. Her hometown is Port Huron Michigan. Both Evan and Victoria hope to return after Evan completes his military service.



Disclaimer: Blue Water Healthy Living is an online magazine located in Port Huron, Michigan. Our purpose is to promote healthy living by showcasing the Blue Water Area, its people, issues and surroundings. This online magazine is devoted to providing healthy living related stories, local happenings, and commentary. Often inspiring and uplifting, our stories come from our heart and soul to promote the enjoyment of a more fulfilling Blue Water Area lifestyle. The material on this web site is provided for informational and amusement purposes only and is not to be confused with any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions and values of Blue Water Healthy Living.

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