Book Reviews

Book Review: Our Share of Night by Mariana Enríquez

Author: Mariana Enríquez
Publisher: Hogarth / Random House
Rating: 4 stars
Read: December 2022

Thank you to NetGalley and Hogarth for providing Far Flung Readers with a free digital ARC.

The Synopsis 

A young father and son set out on a road trip, devastated by the death of the wife and mother they both loved. United in grief, the pair travel to her ancestral home, where they must confront the terrifying legacy she has bequeathed: a family called the Order that commits unspeakable acts in search of immortality.

For Gaspar, the son, this maniacal cult is his destiny. As the Order tries to pull him into their evil, he and his father take flight, attempting to outrun a powerful clan that will do anything to ensure its own survival. But how far will Gaspar’s father go to protect his child? And can anyone escape their fate?

The Review 

It’s February, which means it’s time for me to review as much horror as possible! A lot of people focus on horror around Halloween, but I love it all year round. First up is Our Share of Night, which is Mariana Enríquez’s first full-length novel to be translated into English from the Spanish. Horror fans rejoice!

I’m learning that I love Enríquez’s stories as much as I hate them. I am revolted but compelled; I can’t look away.

Based on how much I loved The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, I was expecting to love Our Share of Night. Overall, I think this novel is good. I ended up liking it, not loving it.

In Our Share of Night, body horror, abuse, and demons are interspersed and intertwined with generational trauma, colonialism, and white supremacy.

The world of Initiates, rituals, and dark magic is terrifying and intertwined with Argentina’s tumultuous history, which plays a major role in the story. There are a lot of things I don’t know about Argentina’s history and culture, so some things surely went over my head. The structure of the dark society Juan (one of our main characters) is part of is an apt metaphor for the workings of colonialism and white supremacy.

Juan himself makes a compelling, flawed character. His relationship with his son, Gaspar, is complicated and full of secrets. His actions affect his son in ways Gaspar will never know and it makes for an interesting dramatic irony for the reader. I don’t want to give anything away, but seeing everything tie together at the end is a nice payoff.

Some parts of the book were a bit too meandering for my taste. I wasn’t really sure how some parts contributed to the plot. Other parts were a bit incoherent and could have used some better editing.

In terms of horror, there are some visuals that won’t be leaving my mind anytime soon. All of the characters are unlikeable, but I love a good unappealing character. In this case, their unlikeability makes the horrors of the plot easier to cope with (in my opinion). I wasn’t terribly sad when most characters met their brutal demise.

I personally find Enríquez’s work interesting and think she’s one of the best contemporary horror writers I’ve ever read. While this story is extremely dark and full of terrors, it is compelling. The horrors inflicted upon the characters in Our Share of Night reflect the lengths humans will go to attain and keep power.

our share of night

Should You Read It?

Because of the content of Enríquez’s work, I honestly wouldn’t recommend her work to anyone unless I knew them very well. As I said before, her stories are very disturbing and contain content that is absolutely not for everyone. Our Share of Night is no different.

Yes, I liked it. However, there are graphic, horrifying scenes in this book that may be disturbing for some readers. If you’re interested in reading this book, I recommend reading some other reviews and double-checking content/trigger warnings in case I missed some.

You should read Our Share of Night by Mariana Enríquez if you:

– want to read more works in translation

– enjoy dark horror

– love cultural analysis of white supremacy and colonialism through a horror lens

– are comfortable with body horror

Content Warnings for Our Share of Night

– body horror / gore / blood / mutilation

– child abuse / violence against children

– racism

– emotional abuse / gaslighting

– self-harm

– suicide

– state terrorism / war

The Book 

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