Sundial by Catriona Ward

Jen N.
2 min readMar 2, 2022

So…. usually the horror genre is one that I don’t visit often. I enjoy creepy/scary occasionally, but there are so few that are done well, I usually just don’t bother. This one caught my interest when I got a copy from the publisher in my mailbox. The cover made me think of a kids book, but that was the wrong impression to have! This is definitely not a children’s book, or even a YA book. This is a creepy, scary adult book!

Rob is mother to Callie and Annie. She has deep concerns for Callie’s mental health and well being. See, Callie collects the bones of animals, and keeps them in her room. Her mother has caught her even talking to them. Rob and Callie do not have a great relationship, as Callie really has bonded with her father, Irving. Rob and Irving’s relationship is clearly strained, but (as a reader) we only see the strained relationship, in the beginning. As the story unfolds, we see the beginnings of their relationship.

This story is told from Rob’s perspective and Callie’s perspective, sometimes alternating. Rob’s stories are told in the “then” and the “now”, filling in the backstory of her history and setting the scene for the rest of the story.

Rob decides to take Callie to Sundial, Rob’s childhood “home” and where she grew up. She had an isolated lifestyle, with her only interactions being with her twin sister, Jack, and her father and step-mother. There are also brief interactions with the students that come to Sundial to study and complete university projects. Her step-mother also runs behavioral research on dogs while at Sundial. This part of the story unfolds in Rob’s “then” chapters.

Overall, this is a complicated, almost Gothic novel that I really ended up enjoying. I say it is “Gothic” in nature, because most of the creepy or “horror” parts of the story take place at Sundial, and I really felt like the house/compound was a character in the story too.

The writing style was important, and I liked the back and forth perspective of Rob and Callie. It really put you in both of their heads, and showed you Rob’s fear for her daughter, and it puts you into the head of Callie, which amplifies the story in the creepiest way!

Overall, I gave this story 4/5 stars overall. It was the right blend of creepy and horror, and would appeal to many different audiences. This book hit bookshelves on March 1, 2022!

Jen N.

Avid reader of all types of books! Actively pursuing a personal goal of being “better read” and breaking out of preferred genres.